SE Asia Stocks -Thai shares retreat; suspension of 4G auction hits large-cap telecoms

Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:22am EDT

BANGKOK, July 18 (Reuters) - Thai shares retreated on Friday
as the suspension of an auction of fourth-generation (4G) mobile
licences triggered sell-offs in telecoms stocks, while sentiment
in Southeast Asia was broadly weak after the downing of a
Malaysia Airlines passenger plane over Ukraine. 
    Thailand's military government suspended the 4G auction for
one year with immediate effect, a move that could lead to a loss
in investment and revenue in a sector that accounts for a tenth
of the economy. 
    Shares of the country's biggest telecoms firm, Advanced Info
Service Pcl, dropped 5.3 percent, while
second-ranked Total Access Communication fell 2.7
percent and No. 3 player True Corporation eased 0.8
percent.
    The suspension made the growth outlook for telecom operators
less attractive, said Parin Kitchartornpitak, a senior analyst
with KTB Securities.
    "4G is a growth story for the telecoms firms," he said.
    The benchmark SET index was down 0.36 percent,
trimming its gain so far in the week to 0.8 percent.
    In Kuala Lumpur, shares of Malaysia Airlines System Bhd
(MAS) fell sharply after one of its planes was downed
in Ukraine, raising pressure on the state-run carrier to try to
restore investor confidence after the second major disaster in
months. 
    Malaysia's key index was down 0.5 percent, heading
for a similar weekly loss.
    Among winners on the week, Singapore is poised to
extend gains for a fourth week, adding 0.3 percent, and
Indonesia is set to rise 1.1 percent for a third week.
    Asian shares sagged on Friday and a drop in Treasury bond
yields put pressure on the dollar after the downing of a
Malaysian Airlines passenger plane over Ukraine sent investors
scurrying into defensive assets. 
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0752 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   440.63        440.90       -0.06
 Singapore          3304.47       3306.89       -0.07
 Kuala Lumpur       1874.11       1883.14       -0.48
 Bangkok            1532.39       1535.66       -0.21
 Jakarta            5075.19       5071.20       +0.08
 Manila             6853.07       6867.36       -0.21
 Ho Chi Minh         596.26        590.37       +1.00
 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a
highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.    

 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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