Thailand’s SET (SET) Index rose 3.21, or 0.7 percent, to 436.73 at the close. The market was one of four, including Japan, New Zealand and the Philippines, that were open today. All other major Asian markets were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Steel companies: Sahaviriya Steel Industries Pcl (SSI) , Thailand’s second-biggest publicly traded steelmaker, dropped 0.02 baht, or 5.3 percent, to 0.36, on speculation the slowing economy will cut domestic demand. Thainox Stainless Pcl (INOX) , the nation’s largest rust-proof steel maker, slid 0.06 baht, or 5.6 percent, to 1.01. G Steel Pcl (GSTEEL) , the No. 2 maker of cold-rolled steel, lost 0.01 baht, or 2.7 percent, to 0.36.
Earnings at most steelmakers in Thailand will remain weak or fall in the first quarter as domestic steel demand continues to drop, Surachai Pramualcharoenkit, an analyst at Kim Eng Securities (Thailand) Pcl, wrote in a note today.
Minor International Pcl (MINT) , Thailand’s biggest hotel operator, gained 0.03 baht, or 0.4 percent, to 7.15. A reorganization of the company’s shareholdings may improve earnings per share, Preeyanun Trieptchcuporn, an analyst at Phillip Securities said in a note to clients today.
Major Cineplex Pcl (MAJOR) , the country’s biggest cinema operator, rose 0.1 baht, or 1.4 percent, to 7.3, its highest close since Oct. 15. Major’s profit will continue to have an “impressive” growth this year on rental revenue from a new outlet, Globex Securities Co. wrote in a note today. The brokerage reiterated its “buy” rating on the stock with a price estimate of 10.2 baht.
Salee Industry Pcl (SALEE) , a maker of plastic products for electrical appliances, slid 0.25 baht, or 13 percent, to 1.68, the lowest since its trading debut on April 28, 2005. The company cut its 2009 sales-growth forecast to 10 percent because of fewer orders, Bangkok Post reported, citing Managing Director Sathit Tatawatorn.
Thoresen Thai Agencies Pcl (TTA) , the country’s largest shipping company, rose 0.30 baht, or 1.9 percent, to 16.50, its steepest climb since Jan. 16. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping tariffs for commodities, on Jan. 23 gained 3.7 percent to 980 points, the highest since Oct. 28.
Thai Airways International Pcl (THAI) , the nation’s biggest carrier, jumped 0.35 baht, or 5.3 percent, to 6.95, the most since Dec. 19. The company received loans of about 22 billion baht to help resolve a liquidity shortage and refinance short-term debt, it said late on Jan. 23.
Thai Vegetable Oil Pcl (TVO TB), the country’s largest soybean importer and distributor, fell 0.1 baht, or 1 percent, to 10. The company probably had a net loss of 244 million baht in the fourth quarter from a profit of 548 million baht a year earlier on lower sales and the writedown of inventory value, Nalyne Viriyasathien, an analyst at DBS Vickers Securities (Thailand) Co. wrote in a report today.