August 21, 2014 / 6:51 AM / in 3 years

SE Asia Stocks - Thai shares hit 14-month high after army leader appointed PM

BANGKOK, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Thai shares scaled 14-month
highs on Thursday after military leader General Prayuth
Chan-ocha was appointed prime minister, while Indonesian stocks
fell amid caution ahead of a court ruling on last month's
presidential election.
    Bangkok's key SET index was up 0.16 percent at
1,553.26 by midday, the highest since June 4, 2013 and extending
its gains over the past two sessions when foreign investors were
net buyers. 
    Brokers expect the market to rise further, citing positive
sentiment from the appointment of a new Prime Minister and a
soon-to-be-formed government. 
    "In our view, his formation of a new cabinet should be
relatively quick and the new cabinet should be ready to work by
early September," broker KGI Securities said in a report.
    Shares of housing developer Land & Houses Pcl rose
for a fifth day to their highest since May 27, 2013, partly
reflecting optimism about the local economy and political
stability, brokers said.
    Indonesia's main index fell 0.7 percent to 5,156.47.
Investors sold recent gainers, such as coal mining firms Adaro
Energy and Harum Energy.
    Indonesia's highest court is widely expected on Thursday to
uphold last month's hotly contested presidential election,
paving the way for Joko Widodo to take over as leader of the
world's third largest democracy. 
    A ruling in favour of Jokowi could help the market recoup
losses, brokers said.
    "We expect the constitutional court to maintain the
Elections Commission's (KPU) decision of Jokowi's win; likely to
push the market higher today," broker Trimegah Securities said
in a report.
    In Kuala Lumpur, shares of palm plantation firm IOI Corp
 and its peer Kuala Lumpur Kepong were among
the top percentage losers on the main index as Malaysian
palm oil hovered near five-year lows. 
    Singapore stocks were little-changed, while Asian
shares came under pressure as a disappointing survey on Chinese
manufacturing stoked concerns about the regional giant.
    In Hanoi, gains in large-caps such as PetroVietNam Gas
 helped push Vietnam's VN Index to its highest
level in nearly five years. 
    The Philippine stock market is closed for a public
holiday and will reopen on Friday. 
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 Change at 0608 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   443.46        443.63       -0.26
 Singapore          3326.70       3323.65       +0.09
 Kuala Lumpur       1872.72       1878.89       -0.33
 Bangkok            1553.26       1550.77       +0.16
 Jakarta            5156.47       5190.17       -0.65
 Ho Chi Minh         615.35        606.70       +1.43
 * 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 Prateek
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