Each week, we provide an overview of the percent returns of the primary indices in Southeast Asia and their currency appreciation or depreciation relative to the US Dollar. We provide this information below. We also capture this information, as well as the trailing four and year-to-date movements, and plot the data in charts, which you can find on the “index charts” and “currency charts” pages.
During the week of 14 August, five of the ten indices in Southeast Asia advanced, with the Jakarta Stock Exchange index rising the most, increasing 2.21%. The agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and property sectors helped drive the gains; the agreement between Jakarta and PT Freeport Indonesia to extend Freeport’s operating contract to 2041 as part of its divesture of 51% of its shares to Indonesian entities, according to The Jakarta Post, probably helped propel the mining stocks upward. Separately, Indonesia’s finance sector had a sizable selloff Wednesday through Friday, almost certainly because Bank Indonesia indicated it might ease monetary policy as soon as next week, according to The Jakarta Globe.
Myanmar’s Myanpix index fell 7.39%, led by approximately 10% declines in First Myanmar Investment (FMI) and Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings Public (MTSH), which are two holding companies with stakes in the financial services, real estate, and health care industries. The share price for these companies possibly dropped because neither appear to be involved in a recently approved, Japanese-led project to build a mega-complex near Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda, as reported in The Myanmar Times.
The Myanmar government is attempting to strengthen the YSX and encourage companies to list on the exchange, which opened in 2016 and whose four listed companies have a combined market capitalization of Myanmar Kyat 626 billion, or approximately USD 459 million. On Thursday, The Myanmar Times reported that the Ministry of Planning and Finance will reduce from 25% to 20% the taxes that listed companies will pay. As of late July, the draft of the Myanmar Companies Bill enables foreigners to participate in the stock market, according to The Myanmar Times, which probably would lead to greater liquidity and increase market efficiency, and probably spur companies to offer their shares to the public.
Malaysia reported strong second quarter GDP growth of 5.8%, which is expected to result in the government revising upward its 2017 GDP growth projection from 4.8%, according to The New Straits Times. The Philippines reported GDP growth of 6.5%, putting the country in-reach of its year end goal of 6.5%, according to Business World. Finally, Singapore reported a growth of 8.5% in July for non-oil domestic exports, which was below analysts’ estimates of 9.1%, according to The Straits Times.
- Jakarta Stock Exchange index (JSX), 2.21%
- Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi), 1.11%
- Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI), 0.52%
- Stock Exchange of Thailand index (SET), 0.33%
- Cambodia Securities Exchange index (CSX), 0.09%
- Hanoi Stock Exchange Index (HNX), -0.03%
- Lao Securities Exchange index (LSX), -0.21%
- Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange Index (VNI), -0.40%
- Singapore’s Straits Times Index (STI), -0.85%
- Myanmar’s Myanpix index (YSX), -7.39%
Only two of the nine primary Southeast Asian currencies advanced relative to the US Dollar the week of 14 August—and both rose only slightly—with the Malaysian Ringgit gaining 0.02% and the Vietnamese Dong rising 0.01%. The Thai Baht, which has been Southeast Asia’s strongest currency in 2017, fell a modest 0.03%; as expected, on Wednesday, the Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee left its one-day repurchase rate, which it uses as its policy rate, at 1.5%, according to The Bangkok Post.
For the second consecutive week, the Philippine Peso had the greatest decline, falling 0.75% and bringing its year-to-date decline to 3.50%, which is the weakest of the nine currencies. Last weekend, the Philippine central bank governor publically defended the currency, stating the country’s economic fundamentals were “solid and very strong” and, if necessary, Manila has ample foreign reserves to stabilize the currency, according to Business World.
- Malaysian Ringgit (MYR), 0.02%
- Vietnamese Dong (VND), 0.01%
- Thai Baht (THB), -0.03%
- Myanmar Kyat (MMK), -0.07%
- Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), -0.10%
- Lao Kip (LAK), -0.10%
- Singapore Dollar (SGD), -0.13%
- Cambodian Riel (KHR), -0.21%
- Philippine Peso (PHP), -0.75%