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Ayala Corp., Astra, KB, Westpac: Asia Ex-Japan Equity Preview

Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The following companies may have unusual price changes in Asian trading, excluding Japan. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and share prices are from the previous close, unless noted otherwise.

Ayala Corp. (AC PM): The owner of the largest Philippine builder is “looking closely” at expanding into power and participating in government infrastructure projects, Chief Financial Officer Delfin Gonzalez said. The company’s profit last year was stronger than expected on higher earnings of most units, Gonzalez said, without giving more details. The stock decreased 0.3 percent to 335 pesos.

PT Astra International (ASII IJ): Indonesia’s domestic vehicle sales rose to 73,849 units from 70,061 in December and compared with 52,831 a year earlier, the company said in a statement, citing data from the nation’s automotive industries association. Astra, Indonesia’s largest automotive retailer, fell 0.5 percent to 49,300 rupiah.

Green Packet Bhd. (GRPB MK): The Malaysian wireless Internet services provider said its loss for the fourth quarter narrowed to 77.7 million ringgit ($26 million) from 100.7 million a year earlier as sales surged. Green Packet was unchanged at 76.5 sen.

KB Financial Group Inc. (105560 KS): The owner of South Korea’s largest lender won regulatory approval to spin off the banking unit’s credit-card business, the Financial Services Commission said in an e-mailed statement. KB gained 0.7 percent to 57,900 won.

Pacific & Orient Bhd. (PO MK): The Malaysian insurer said it had a profit of 9.61 million ringgit in the first quarter, ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of 21.4 million ringgit a year earlier. Its shares gained 0.5 percent to 87.5 sen.

Shanghai Aerospace Automobile Electro Mechanical Co. (600151 CH): The Chinese maker of solar cells aims to boost sales from its solar power business fivefold within four years. The company is targeting annual sales of 14 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) by 2015, up from an estimated 2.8 billion yuan this year, chairman Jiang Wenzheng told reporters in Shanghai. Shanghai Aerospace increased 2.2 percent to 13.71 yuan.

Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC AU): Australia’s second-largest lender said it “continues to attract strong investor support for its wholesale funding. The group has taken a number of steps in recent years to diversify its funding sources and improve its funding tenor, allowing it to continue to support its customers,” the bank said in a statement. Westpac rose 0.1 percent to A$24.34.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anuchit Nguyen in Bangkok at anguyen@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net

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