April 30, 2014 / 6:07 AM / 4 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Firmer on strong corporate earnings, S'pore leads

SINGAPORE, April 30 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian shares rose
on Wednesday on solid corporate earnings, with Singapore
recovering from two-week lows after two of the country's largest
banks posted record profits that surpassed expectations. 
    The gains eclipsed worries about Ukraine after the United
States and the European Union imposed more sanctions on Russia
for its role in backing the separatist movement in eastern
    Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index gained
0.7 percent after dropping to its lowest since April 14 the
previous day, buoyed by gains in banking stocks.
    Shares of DBS Ltd rose 2.8 percent to hit their
highest in more than three months, while OCBC Ltd 
stocks advanced 3.2 percent to three-week highs.
    The two banks posted record quarterly profits earlier on
Wednesday that easily surpassed market estimates, powered by
double-digit growth in loans and improving interest rate
    UOB Ltd shares rallied from five-week lows to jump
as much as 3.4 percent, though its first-quarter earnings are
not due until after the market close. 
    Brokerage CIMB expects banks to outperform the Singapore
market this year, it said in a research note.
    The gains were evenly spread throughout the region, with
Thailand and Indonesia gaining 0.3 percent, and
Malaysia rising 0.4 percent.   
    The Philippines stretched gains into a second day,
rising 0.8 percent. The index was bolstered by advances in its
largest utility firm Manila Electric Co, which edged up
2.1 percent, and a 2.5 percent rise in real estate company
Megaworld Corp.
    Markets in Vietnam are closed for a public holiday.
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 Change on day
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   418.80        417.41       +0.33
 Singapore          3263.26       3237.74       +0.79
 Kuala Lumpur       1867.45       1859.34       +0.44
 Bangkok            1417.86       1412.33       +0.39
 Jakarta            4833.60       4819.68       +0.29
 Manila             6687.71       6636.45       +0.77
 (Reporting by Andrew Toh; Editing by Anand Basu)
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