October 24, 2019 / 10:22 AM / 19 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise; Indonesia hits 6-week high on rate cut boost

    * BI cuts benchmark rate by 25 bps to 5% 
    * Indonesia rises for 10th straight session
    * Philippine cenbank cuts RRR by 100 bps

    By Sameer Manekar
    Oct 24 (Reuters) - Indonesian stocks rose for the tenth
straight session on Thursday to hit a six-week high, following a
widely-expected rate cut by the archipelago's central bank,
while Singapore gained on hopes of an economic recovery in the
    Leading the gains in the Southeast Asian region, Indonesia's
benchmark index ended up 1.3%, its best closing level
since Sept. 12. The index has added over 300 points since its
close on Oct 10.
    Bank Indonesia cut its benchmark interest, the fourth
consecutive cut in as many months, stepping up its efforts to
boost Southeast Asia's largest economy.
    "BI's decision to cut the benchmark rate by 25 basis points
is a very strong message to the market that the President Jokowi
and the new cabinet has no intention to loosen its grip on the
growth agenda," said Taye Shim, head of research at Mirae Asset
    Hosting his first cabinet meeting of the new term,
Indonesian President Joko Widodo stressed the government's
priority would be job creation.
    Widodo has retained several economic ministers from his
first term, including Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati,
whose appointment is seen as continuation of the focus on
economic growth.
    An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
was up 2%, rising for the tenth straight session as well.
    Singapore shares added 0.8%, boosted by gains in
financial and industrial sectors.
    The city-state's economy may be a few quarters away from a
recovery as the decline in trade and manufacturing this year
hasn't really spread to other sectors, the Monetary Authority of
Singapore's chief Ravi Menon told Bloomberg. (bloom.bg/2Jkrdea)
    A recovery, though not robust, was still likely as the
negative output gap, the estimated difference between economy's
actual and potential performance, isn't expected to widen, Menon
    Index heavyweights DBS Group Holdings and Jardine
Matheson Holdings advanced 1.2% and 1.5%,
    Thai stocks closed down 0.6%, dragged by heavy
losses in the financial sector.
    Heavyweight Kasikornbank PCL declined 7.4%, as 
the bank forecast its gross non-performing loans (NPL) ratio to
be in the range of 3.6%-4% in 2020, wider than 2019's NPL gross
ratio of 3.34%.
    "I think people are closely monitoring the NPL issue. And
when one of the biggest bank continue to signal that NPL target
wil rise next year, I think it’s quite a big deal for the
market," said Rakpong Chaisuparakul, analyst at KGI Securities
    The Philippine bourse added 0.2%, rising on the back
of financials and consumer firms.
    Philippine central bank Governor Benjamin Diokno after
market hours announced a 100-bps cut in banks' reserve
requirement ratio that will take effect in December.

    BDO Unibank and SM Investment Corp rose
1.7% and 1.6%, respectively.

For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3168.87   3144.28         0.78
 Bangkok                1620.97   1631.46         -0.64
 Manila                 7950.98   7933.76         0.22
 Jakarta                6339.647  6257.806        1.31
 Kuala Lumpur           1571.11   1568.79         0.15
 Ho Chi Minh            993.6     987.79          0.59
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3168.87   3068.76         3.26
 Bangkok                1620.97   1563.88         3.65
 Manila                 7950.98   7,466.02        6.50
 Jakarta                6339.647  6,194.50        2.34
 Kuala Lumpur           1571.11   1690.58         -7.07
 Ho Chi Minh            993.6     892.54          11.32

 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
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