STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Krung Thai Bank rises on govt spending

Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:12am EDT

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Shares in Krung Thai Bank Pcl gained almost 3 percent, outperforming other banking shares, amid optimism that the state-run bank would see strong loan expansions along with the government's infrastructure investment.

Krung Thai Bank shares were up 1.9 percent at 27 baht, climbing at one point to 27.25 baht, the highest since March 7. The broader banking shares rose 0.6 percent and the main SET index was up 0.4 percent.

The Thai cabinet meets on Tuesday to discuss the government's plan to spend around 2 trillion baht ($67.5 billion) in investment in infrastructure upgrades by 2020.

Maybank Kim Eng Securities (Thailand)(MBKET) has the stock's fair value of 30 baht.

"MBKET sees the KTB price receiving positive sentiment as the cabinet will consider the 2.2 trillion baht infrastructure loan today. KTB has the highest government loan portion in the sector," the broker said in a report.

Twenty-four out of 29 analysts tracking the company rated the stock a 'buy' or 'strong buy', three put a 'hold' and two have 'sell' or 'strong sell' ratings, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.

1158 (0458 GMT)

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

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