* Institutional buying pushes up Malaysia
* Indonesia is Asia's 2nd best market in 2011, after Manila
By Viparat Jantraprap
BANGKOK, Dec 30 Most Southeast Asian stock
markets pushed higher on Friday and some even managed small
gains on the year, in contrast to the rest of Asia, depressed by
Europe's unresolved debt crisis and worries about global demand.
Even though Southeast Asian markets had their worst year
since 2008, when the global financial crisis hit share values,
the Philippines, which was closed on Friday, was Asia's
best-performing market this year with a 4.1 percent gain.
Indonesia came second with a rise of 3.2 percent and Kuala
Lumpur managed to eke out a gain of 0.78 percent. They were the
only markets to go up in Asia this year.
The resilience of domestic consumption helped Indonesia
overcome an external slowdown and optimism about the mining and
telecoms sectors underpinned sentiment in the Philippines.
In a choppy trading session, Jakarta's Composite Index
edged up 0.35 percent on Friday to six-week highs and
Thailand rose 0.14 percent, but Singapore's Straits
Times Index fell 1 percent to the lowest in more than a
Late buying sent Malaysia's index up 1.6 percent to
its highest in almost five months. The Malaysian bourse said
domestic institutions led buyers with a net $33 million.
Vietnam edged up 0.3 percent but plunged 27.5 percent
on the year, Southeast Asia's worst performance, because of
domestic economic woes. Singapore dropped 17 percent, hurt by
its exposure to the global marketplace.
Market turnover was generally subdued ahead of the New Year
celebrations. The Philippines and Indonesia reopen on Monday,
Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam on Tuesday and Thailand on
The European debt fiasco would continue to dominate the
markets at the start of the new year, brokers said.
"There's unlikely to be a significant development in Europe
in the near term. So we still expect weak investment sentiment,
at least in the first quarter of next year," said Bangkok-based
strategist Sukit Udomsirikul of broker SCB Securities.
In a research note on the outlook for 2012, CIMB Securities
said the Indonesian market remained a safe haven pick and it
kept the Thai market at "overweight", while downgrading Malaysia
to "neutral" from "overweight".
Indonesia's passing of a long-awaited land acquisition law,
which could help infrastructure development, might lift its
growth outlook, while Thailand's reconstruction efforts after
flooding plus buoyant consumption boded well for corporate
earnings there the broker said.
For Malaysia, besides having to contend with a slowing
economy, investors will very likely have to brace for the impact
of general elections, amid a multitude of risks, it said.
Top Thai convenience store CP All Pcl climbed 1
percent, for a gain of 31 percent on the year, and PT Unilever
Indonesia Tbk gained 1.6 percent, up 14 percent on the
year thanks to strong domestic spending.
(Editing by Alan Raybould)
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on day
Market Current Prev Close Pct Move
Singapore 2646.35 2672.78 -0.99
Kuala Lumpur 1530.73 1506.69 +1.60
Bangkok 1025.32 1023.91 +0.14
Jakarta 3821.99 3808.77 +0.35
Hanoi 351.55 350.51 +0.30
Change on year
Market Current End prev yr Pct Move
Singapore 2646.35 3190.04 -17.04
Kuala Lumpur 1530.73 1518.91 +0.78
Bangkok 1025.32 1032.76 -0.72
Jakarta 3821.99 3703.51 +3.20
Manila 4371.96 4201.14 +4.07
Hanoi 351.55 484.66 -27.46
Stock Market Volume (shares)
Market Current Volume Average Volume 30 days
Singapore 118,590,800 254,840,020
Kuala Lumpur 113,633,900 86,552,883
Bangkok 1,638,611 3,339,839
Jakarta 2,600,539,000 2,796,963,800
Hanoi 56,176 38,124