June 19, 2014 / 5:21 AM / 4 years ago

SE Asia Stocks -Vietnam index hits lowest level in almost 2 weeks; Thai shares rebound

BANGKOK, June 19 (Reuters) - Stocks in Vietnam hit their
lowest level in almost two weeks on Thursday after the central
bank lowered the dong against the dollar to help exports, while
Thai shares edged up as beaten-down telecoms regained some of
their recent losses.
    Vietnam's benchmark VN Index fell as much as 2
percent to its lowest since June 9, led by Viet Nhat Seafood
Corp and Savimex Corp, before settling down
0.6 percent by the midday break.
    Vietnam lowered the mid-point rate for trading its currency
on the interbank market by 1 percent on Thursday to support
exports, the key driver of the economy, the central bank said.
    The dong's depreciation started in May due to escalating
tensions between Vietnam and China over territory in the South
China Sea, DBS said in a report.
    "Despite its preference for a stable exchange rate this
year, we reckoned that the central bank may need to adjust the
dong weaker by 1-2 percent if the situation does not improve
between Vietnam and its largest trading partner anytime soon,"
the broker said.
    The Thai SET index rose 0.4 percent, snapping two
days of falls, as shares of battered telecoms firms such as
Advanced Info Service and True Corporation 
bounced back.
    The benchmark index fell 1.3 percent on Wednesday, in part
due to rumours about a possible capital gains tax, brokers said.
    "After yesterday's unexpected correction on telecom sell-off
and market rumours about capital gains tax, the SET index is
likely to rebound on Thursday... The market talk on capital
gains tax has no ground in our view," strategists with broker
KGI Securities said in a report.
    At present, investors at the Stock Exchange of Thailand are
exempted from the tax, exchange officials said.
    Shares in the Philippines eased slightly ahead of the
central bank's meeting on interest rate.
    The central bank will likely keep rates unchanged at 3.5
percent at its policy meeting on Thursday after growth
unexpectedly slowed in the first quarter, a Reuters poll showed.
    Other stock markets in Southeast Asia were little changed.
    Asian stock markets rose after the U.S. Federal Reserve gave
a positive assessment of the economy and committed to retaining
accommodative monetary policy. MSCI's broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.8
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 Change at 0423 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   424.32        422.24       +0.49
 Singapore          3280.79       3276.80       +0.12
 Kuala Lumpur       1877.17       1876.58       +0.03
 Bangkok            1457.68       1451.36       +0.44
 Jakarta            4870.51       4887.86       -0.35
 Manila             6677.55       6703.13       -0.38
 Ho Chi Minh         566.62        570.03       -0.60
 * 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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