STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Land & Houses surges after broker raises profit forecast

Thu Jan 3, 2013 11:21pm EST

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Shares in Land & Houses, Thailand's top homebuilder, jumped more than 7 percent to an eight-year high after a broker raised its profit and revenue forecasts for 2013-2014 to reflect higher land prices and bright property outlook.

Land and Houses shares were up 7.54 percent at 10.70 baht, hitting 10.80 baht at one point, the highest since January 2005.

The stock has risen 13 percent over the past three months, outperforming a 7 percent gain of the broad index, helped by strong demand for property, low interest rates and rising purchasing power of home buyers after an increase in the minimum wage.

Trinity Securities said in a note Land & Houses, which has a large land bank, should benefit from an increase in land prices, which should boost its selling prices and improve profit margins in the next two years. It kept its 'buy' rating on the stock. 1058 (0358 GMT) (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong in Bangkok: Editing by Prateek Chatterjee) *************************************************

09:53 STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Nomura starts Siam Cement with buy; concrete growth seen Nomura initiated coverage of Thailand's biggest industrial conglomerate Siam Cement Pcl with a 'buy' rating, citing strong cement business and improving petrochemical cycle. The broker set a price target of 530 baht.

Siam Cement shares fell 0.5 percent to 444 baht on Thursday.

"The company's cement business has had strong performance in 2012 driven by government's massive infrastructure spending ... However, SCC underperformed Siam City Cement despite SCC's superior EPS growth in its cement business," it said.

Siam Cement shares rose 30 percent in 2012 versus an 80 percent surge of Siam City Cement Pcl in the year. Siam Cement share price performance was hampered by a poor performance of its petrochemical business in 2012, Nomura said.

"Given an improving petrochemical cycle expected in 2013/14F and estimated continued growth of 22 percent in the cement business over the same period, we believe SCC's share price should re-rate toward that of SCCC," the broker said. 0942 (0242 GMT) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; Editing by Anand Basu)

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