Thailand Stocks: Bangkok Bank, Banpu, Kasikornbank, Khon Kaen

Thailand’s SET Index rose 9.65, or 0.9 percent, to 1,042.41 at the 4:30 p.m. close, the highest since Nov. 9.

Banks: Bangkok Bank Pcl (BBL TB), Thailand’s biggest lender, advanced 3.4 percent to 152 baht, the highest close since Dec. 7. Kasikornbank Pcl (KBANK TB) gained 1.6 percent to 127.5 baht. Siam Commercial Bank Pcl (SCB TB) added 1 percent to 104.5 baht.

Bangkok Bank, Kasikornbank and Siam Commercial were rated “buy” in new coverage at BNP Paribas, which said Thailand’s banks appear to be “moving towards a sustainable growth era with solid assets and earnings quality.”

Energy companies: PTT Pcl (PTT TB), Thailand’s biggest energy company, climbed 3.1 percent to 330 baht, the highest close since Nov. 15. PTT Chemical Pcl (PTTCH TB), the nation’s largest petrochemical maker by market value, gained 2 percent to 150 baht.

PTT and PTT Chemical were rated “buy” in new coverage at BNP, which said the companies were among its top picks in the Thai oil and gas industry.

Banpu Pcl (BANPU TB), the country’s biggest coal producer, jumped 6.9 percent to 842 baht, a record close. Power-station coal prices at Australia’s Newcastle port, an Asian benchmark, gained 3 percent to $128.50 a metric ton in the week ended Dec. 31.

Khon Kaen Sugar Industry Pcl (KSL TB), the nation’s only publicly traded sugar miller, gained 8.8 percent to 13.6 baht, the steepest advance since March 30. Raw sugar for March delivery climbed 5.7 percent on Dec. 31 to settle at 32.12 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The contract reached 34.77 cents on Dec. 29, the highest since November 1980.

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