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  • Besteuerung von Streubesitzbeteiligungen erschwert Unternehmensgründungen

    Published on Oct 12, 2002

    Merrill Lynch sees uncertainty ahead

    The Thai stock market could range anywhere between 440 and 294 points next year, depending on the length of a possible US-Iraq conflict, Merrill Lynch Phatra Securities (MLP) says.

    Mounting tension between the US and Iraq will almost certainly lead to war in the first quarter of next year, according to MLP`s head of strategy-equity research Amarit Sukhavanij.

    Assuming the war ends in the first quarter of 2002, the SET index will likely rise to 440 points, and exports, electronics, finance, banking and petrochemical stocks would be the best picks, he said.

    In a worst case scenario, if the war drags on, the SET could go into a tailspin, bottoming at 294 points. Stocks related to food and domestic consumption would be the best bets, he said.

    The price-to-equity (P/E) ratio of an SET hovering between 440 points and 294 translates into 9 times and 6 times respectively.

    MLP has lowered its projection for the SET index this year to 368 points from a previous 380-390 level, due to heightened pessimism on the Thai stock market, the firm said in a statement yesterday.

    The local unit of the US-based investment bank, Merrill Lynch, said the downgrade was due to long-term uncertainty over the global economy.

    "While the Thai economy is still growing at a brisk pace, driven by strengthening domestic consumption, the SET has slipped on investor anxieties about the world political and economic situation," the report said.

    The Thai composite SET index was one of the three best performers in Asia in the first half this year, with a 41-per-cent gain from the beginning of this year to a peak of 428.76 in June.

    Thai stocks, however, have failed to buck the downward trend on bourses worldwide, and the SET has seen its gains shrink 9 per cent since its June high-point.

    Meanwhile, the securities company has upgraded ratings for the property sector from "underweight" to "overweight", and for the finance sector from "underweight" to "neutral".

    The building and raw materials, communications, transportation and energy sectors have also been upgraded to "overweight".

    MLP`s top picks are PTT, Land and Houses, Siam Cement, Advanced Info Services, Thai Farmers Bank, Siam Panich Leasing, and Aeon Thana Sinsap (Thailand).

    The securities house reaffirmed its forecast of Thailand`s gross-domestic-product growth for 2002 at 3.5 per cent - below projections by Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley at 4.1 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively.

    The Nation