WHO to upset SET

The market’s concern over the new coronavirus is expected to resurge today as the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency over the global outbreak. 

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) closed yesterday with 1523.99 points, slightly down by 0.60 points, or 0.04 per cent, from the previous day with a market value of 53.753 billion baht. 

The WHO’s declaration, along with the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) and the National Institute of Development Administration’s decision to cast doubt over their prediction for in the country’s GDP in 2020 yesterday will not help the index today. The UTCC said yesterday that the outbreak, the delay of the 2020 fiscal year budget bill, drought, and air pollution could lower Thailand’s GDP by 1.3 per cent, or 226.7 billion baht. 

The baht is also weakening fast, reflecting concern over the Thai economy, which is being hit the most by the outbreak of the new coronavirus when compared to other countries in Southeast Asia. 

The currency opened trading today at 31.15 baht per US dollar after closing at 31.10 baht yesterday. The weakening is largely due to the spread of the virus and the surge in the US bourses as the US economy posted a growth of 2.1 per cent, from quarter to quarter. 

Meanwhile, oil prices are still decreasing, with WTI crude prices down to US$52.9 per barrel, the lowest since October. Experts from Krungthai Bank see the baht moving in a range between 31.05 baht to 31.25 baht today.

From the concern over the virus and the economy, the man index is not expected to perform today. In the meantime, gold prices are expected to pick up as investors look for safe haven assets as the virus spreads to every part of China and 18 other countries.

In other notes, Kasikorn Bank (KBANK)’s board has issued the buying back of their shares with a budget of 4.6 billion baht over ten days between February 14 and 27. BBS Group (BTS, BA, STEC) won its bid to develop U-Tapao airport and the Eastern Airport City Project, and are expecting to have the contract by March.

PTTEP made a profit growth of 40 per cent, or 48.80 billion baht, in 2019 with a revenue of 198.82 billion baht, up 17 per cent. They expect their sales of petroleum to increase by 11 per cent in 2020, reaching 390,000 barrels per day. 

AMANAH is expected to post an all-time high profit for their fourth quarter results of over 61 million baht, up 48 per cent. They are estimated to post a profit of 290 million baht this year.

BEM has received good news that the number of passengers was not affected by the outbreak of the new coronavirus, with more than 370,000 people using the Blue Line service per day. The final section from Tao Poon to Tha Pra, which will open at the end of March, is also expected to increase the number of passengers on the Blue Line to 500,000 per day.

KUMWEL expects its profits to grow by 15 to 20 per cent this year as construction on infrastructure projects are set to begin this year. They are expecting income from their work on the high-speed rail project (Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima) on February 2. 

Singha Estate released its five-year plan with 30 new projects and a target profit of 20 billion this year, while brokers are also pointing to SABINA from increasing online sales with an expected profit of 11 per cent per year as the company is expanding its online channel. SABINA is expecting its online sales to increase by 25 to 30 per cent each year until 2024. Its fourth quarter results are expected to increase by 58 per cent, according to TISCO Securities.  

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