BRIEF-Zais Financial, Sutherland Asset Management announce stockholder approvals of merger
* Zais financial corp. And sutherland asset management corp. Announce stockholder approvals of their merger
Shares in top industrial conglomerate Siam Cement Pcl rallied to an all-time high with good volume, underpinned by strong earnings growth outlook for its cement business, brokers said.
Siam Cement shares were up 3.5 percent at 418 baht, climbing at one point to a record of 420 baht. About 2.7 million shares changed hands, 1.8 times the average full-day volume in the last 30 sessions.
The stock had gained almost 20 percent so far in the fourth quarter, outpacing a 4 percent rise of the broader SET index , amid expectations of strong cement earnings for the quarter backed by government investment and spending in infrastructure projects.
Thanachart Securities rated the stock a 'buy', with technical indicators pointing to the stock's near term resistance of 420 baht, and then 440-450 baht, it said in a research note.
Seventeen out of 22 analysts tracking the company rated the stock a 'buy' or 'strong buy', three have a 'hold' and two put a 'sell' or 'strong sell', according to Thomson Reuters Starmine.
1545 (0845 GMT)
(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; Editing by Sunil Nair)
14:24 STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Gas price hikes to lift PTT's 2013-14 earnings-CIMB
Thailand's earlier-than-expected plan to raise the prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and natural gas for vehicles (NGV) in 2013 would likely raise 2013-14 earnings by 5.1 percent for PTT Pcl PTT.BK, the country's biggest energy firm, CIMB said.
"The plan to raise the prices of NGV and LPG in 2013 would likely be positive for PTT at the expense of consumers. We believe this plan is achievable as it comes together with proposed subsidies for low income earners," the CIMB report said.
Last week, Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal announced a plan to raise the prices of NGV and LPG by 16-37 percent from the currently-capped prices, aimed at lowering the country's oil fund deficit due to larger subsidies for LPG and NGV.
"Trading at a distressed valuation due to the ongoing subsidy, we believe PTT's valuation discount gap could narrow once this plan is implemented," the broker said.
The broker maintained an 'outperform' rating for the stock, with target price of 391 baht. PTT shares were up 0.3 percent at 329 baht at the midsession break of 0530 GMT.
1413 (0713 GMT)
(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; Editing by Jijo Jacob)
* Indexes up: Dow 0.74 pct, S&P 0.64 pct, Nasdaq 0.92 pct (Updates to close)
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