1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,688.48 points, increased 3.04 points or 0.18% with a trading value of 52 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market moved narrowly in the same direction as regional markets without positive drivers, pressured by plummet in Wall Street on disappointing retail sales data. Investors were monitoring banking results, while China’s Lunar Festival is drawing near, resulting in lower trading volume.
The analyst expected SET Index to continue moving in the range tomorrow, giving a support level at 1,675-1,680 points and a resistance level at 1,690 points.
2) Malaysia’s central bank keeps policy rates at 2.75%
On Thursday, Malaysia’s central bank kept the benchmark interest rate at 2.75%, saying that it is in the process of assessing the effect of the interest rate change that occurred four times consecutively last year.
Despite the global economic slowdown, BNM expected 2022 growth to exceed 6.5%–7%, while the government expected moderate growth of 4%–5% this year.
3) South Korea’s “Woori Financial Group” eyes brokerage arm after taking Daol’s investment portfolio
Daol Investment & Securities has announced that it signed an MOU to sell 52% shareholding of its subsidiary that operates in private equity, Daol Investment, to South Korea’s Woori Financial Group.
Woori Financial Group is one of the biggest banks in South Korea and has been a front runner for the acquisition.
The agreed price for 52% stake is around 210 billion won (approx. $169 million), according to the report from several media outlets in South Korea. Both parties are expected to begin due diligence soon to sign a stock purchase agreement by the next month and close the deal by March.
4) Hong Kong will remove Covid-19 quarantine requirement from Jan. 30
Hong Kong announced on Thursday that beginning January 30, people infected with Covid-19 will no longer be required to quarantine, a massive step toward existing coronavirus restrictions that have been in place for about three years.
This decision comes after China made a similar one on January 8 to lower Covid-19 from a severe respiratory disease to an endemic disease, which led to the lifting of isolation requirements.
5) Japan sees drop in exports as trade to China slows down
In December, Japan’s exports growth was lower because exports to China fell for the first time in seven months.
The growth of export rose 11.5% in December and after November that rose 20%, pointing to the slowest growth since the start of 2022.
The export to China has fallen due to lower sales of cars, auto parts and chip-making machinery, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) noted. In December, trading value fell 6.2% YoY and 24% YoY in terms of volume.
In 2022, Japan’s trade deficit of 19.97 trillion yen was the second largest annual shortfall and the biggest since 1979.