STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Italian Thai jumps on strong volumes

Thu Jan 3, 2013 3:49am EST

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Shares in Italian-Thai Development Pcl hit a more than two-year high on expectations the country's biggest construction firm would benefit from the government's infrastructure projects and as its share price was seen a laggard.

Italian Thai shares jumped 6.6 percent to 4.86 baht, climbing at one point to 4.92, the highest since November 2010. About 400 million shares changed hands, 5.5 times the average full-day volume in the last 30 days.

It has risen only 34 percent over the past 12 months versus a 124 percent surge of smaller peer Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Pcl and a 96 percent gain of Ch Karnchang Pcl.

KT Seamico Securities said Italian Thai was among its list of turnaround stocks and rated it a 'speculative buy'.

1533 (0833 GMT)

(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)

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14:41 STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Banks in strong earnings cycle; BBL, Kbank top picks-Nomura

Thai banks are facing their best earnings cycle in 20 years, underpinning a significant re-rating of the sector, brokerage Nomura said, citing strong macro data in November such as business confidence and private investment.

"Strong macro data-points underpin our view that an investment cycle is developing effectively for the first time since the 1997 financial crisis, driving a corporate and SME loan cycle and a doubling of Thai bank profits from 2011-14F," it said.

Bangkok Bank Pcl BBL.BK and Kasikornbank Pcl KBAN.BK had the highest corporate and SME loan exposures and were its top picks, the broker said in a report dated Jan. 2.

Its price target for Bangkok Bank is 262 baht while that for Kasikornbank is 230 baht.

Bangkok Bank shares were down 0.5 percent at 195 baht while Kasikornbank shares gained 1.3 percent to 198.5 baht. The broader banking subindex .SETB edged up 0.14 percent while the benchmark SET index .SETI was up 0.35 percent.

1433 (0733 GMT)

(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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