May 19, 2017 / 10:22 AM / 8 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Ratings upgrade drives Jakarta to life-high; Vietnam ends at over 9-yr high

    By Anusha Ravindranath
    May 19 (Reuters) - Indonesian shares vaulted to a record
high on Friday, notching their biggest weekly gain since March,
after Standard & Poor's (S&P) raised the country's sovereign
bond ratings to investment grade, a move long awaited by
investors and the government. 
    Rating agency S&P upgraded Indonesia's sovereign credit
outlook to 'BBB-' from 'BB+'. The move reflected its assessment
of reduced risks to the country's fiscal position, the agency
    "This is a well-deserved upgrade, thanks to its
prioritization of fiscal sustainability at the expense of growth
in 2016," said Trinh Nguyen, Senior Economist for Natixis, based
in Hong Kong.
    The upgrade would enable Indonesia to access a pool of
eligible foreign investors that only invest in at least
investment grade (IG)-rated asset, and provide a sentimental
boost to equities and the economy, he added.
    The Indonesian bond market received foreign inflows of $1.7
billion in April, data showed on Wednesday.
    The index of Indonesia's 45 most liquid stocks
gained as much as 4.2 percent to an all-time high.
    The Indonesian benchmark ended 2.6 percent higher driven by
financials and telecos. Telkom Indonesia jumped 5.1
percent after media reported that its unit Telkomsigma had
entered the public cloud business under the Star Cloud brand.
    Vietnam stocks ended at their highest in over nine
years, logging a fourth week of gains, buoyed by financial and
energy shares. Vietnam National Petroleum Group gained
nearly 7 percent, driven by higher oil prices.
    Rating agency Fitch on Thursday revised the outlook on
Vietnam's long-term foreign- and local currency issuer default
ratings (IDR) to 'positive' from 'stable'.
    Meanwhile, other Southeast Asian markets largely ended in
positive territory as concerns surrounding U.S. politics waned
and as traders shifted their focus to local catalysts. 
    Shares in Thailand and the Philippines ended
marginally higher. However, the Philippine index posted a second
week of losses.
    Defying the broader trend, Singapore shares fell for
a fourth straight session, recording their first weekly loss in
three. Industrial stocks and telcos were the worst performers. 
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on day                                         
  Market           Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore        3216.92       3221.66      -0.15
  Bangkok          1549.64       1545.88      0.24
  Manila           7767.62       7757.69      0.13
  Jakarta          5791.884      5645.451     2.59
  Kuala Lumpur     1768.28       1767.17      0.06
  Ho Chi Minh      733.82        726.99       0.94
  Change so far                               
 this year                                    
  Market           Current       End 2016     Pct Move
  Singapore        3216.92       2880.76      11.67
  Bangkok          1549.64       1542.94      0.43
  Manila           7767.62       6840.64      13.55
  Jakarta          5791.884      5296.711     9.35
  Kuala Lumpur     1768.28       1641.73      7.71
  Ho Chi Minh      733.82        664.87       10.37
 (Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by
Sunil Nair)
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