The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) went down slightly on Thursday morning over fears that Beijing may have underreported the number of coronavirus cases in the country.
Health officials and Chinese state media said on Thursday that 242 people had died in the past 24 hours from the coronavirus, the largest number of fatalities in a single day since the outbreak began. Chinese officials also reported 14,840 new cases in Hubei Province alone.
China said that the huge spike in cases were due to a new method of detecting the coronavirus using computerised tomography. Previous tests were only confirmed by blood tests to look for signs of the virus in a patient’s RNA.
The SET went into intermission with 2.8 points less than this morning to 1537.04, with a low trading value of 23.19 billion baht. This was a sharp contrast from Wednesday’s surge of 15.91 points. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also lost 63.20 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 27760.46 as of 1:00pm Thailand time.
A financial analyst said, “in order to adjust for the numbers of the past few days, today the number of infected cases were adjusted up in one go by 13,332. [This] means that actual new cases as of yesterday were 1,508, which is still a pretty good number and clearly indicating that the peak in new cases has already passed. This may indeed be the reason why Asian markets are not panicking, oil is not down, gold is not surging, and Dow futures have halved its losses.”
Stock by stock
- OTO went down 14.43 per cent, or 0.56 baht, to 3.32 baht this morning. Brokers said the sale came as investors are selling for profit as the stock went up sharply by 24.69 per cent to 4.18 baht on Monday, past its technical barrier.
- AOT show a profit of 7.334 billon baht in the first quarter of 2020 fiscal year, up 15.04 per cent from the same period last year, due to an increase in international passenger numbers, but with a decline in domestic numbers.
- The number of passengers from six airports under the care of AOT has amounted to 36.72 million, up 3.19 per cent year-on-year. Chinese travellers still represent the largest group of passengers coming in and out of AOT airports. The current excise tax reduction has also encouraged low-cost airlines to concentrate their market efforts on intentional flights more than domestic flights. Thai people prefer going abroad more than before as well.
- Trinity Securities recommends investors buy AOT at a target price of 81 baht, as they believe AOT will post a flat growth in terms of passenger numbers this year, but that still means that they can still make a profit of 63 billion baht in 2020, up 0.9 per cent. The securities firm believes that the number of passengers will come back to the growing path in 2021 with an expected rate of 7 to 10 per cent.
- Finansia Syrus Securities recommends shares within the sugar industry as the price of sugar could increase to a three-year high this year because of lowered supply. Sugar prices averaged at US$0.13 per pound in 2019 and the industry believes that the price could go up to US$0.16 in 2020, as supply could be 40 per cent this year when compared to last year. India is looking at 30.44 million tonnes this year, five tonnes less than last year.
- Thailand’s production will be stable at 14 to 15 million tonnes, but Brazil’s is predicted at 80 million tonnes, less than the 100 million tonnes that the market expected and will be the lowest in a decade after last year’s production of 131 million tonnes. This is mainly due to drought, experts said.
- Finansia recommends KSL Investors as a top pick from the sugar industry as they have the largest market share when compared to other listed companies in this group.
- IPRC show a profit of 216.577 billion baht in 2019, down 16 per cent year-on-year from declining oil prices and the strong baht last year.
- GPSC show a revenue of 66.562 billion baht with a profit of 4.061 billion baht in 2019, up 21 per cent year-on-year. This is mainly due to its merger with Glow Group, they said.
- VGI show a revenue of 1.867 billion baht in the third quarter of the 2019/2020 fiscal year, up 25 per cent and representing another new high following its record revenue in the second quarter. Its profit for the third quarter came in at 401 million baht, up 30 per cent year-on-year due to income from its out-of-home media segment and revenue from its VGI Digital Lab that caters to online media.