POLITICAL unrest in Thailand continued to take its toll on the country’s financial markets last week, as the Stock Exchange of Thailand closed Friday down 3.25 percent.
Stocks in Thailand, where antigovernment protesters continued to occupy Bangkok’s shopping district Sunday after clashes with security forces killed 23 people earlier this month, fell 7 percent over the course of last week.
To the south, Malaysia’s Public Bank Berhad, owner of Cambodian Public Bank Ltd, opened trading in Kuala Kumpur on Friday at a 52-week high of 12.06 ringgit (US$3.78) after releasing first-quarter earnings results that met annualised market estimates.
The bank’s first-quarter net profits of 685 million ringgit are up 16 percent from quarter one 2009, as finance sector growth continues to outstrip gains in wider markets worldwide.
Also in Kuala Lumpur Friday, Axiata, owner of Cambodian telecoms firm Hello, closed down 2.1 percent to finish at 3.73 ringgit after announcing plans for a $300 million issuance of 10 year fixed-rate, guaranteed bonds. CEO Datuk Seri Jamaludin Ibrahim said the move would support the company’s efforts to improve its capital structure.
Axiata has applied to list the notes on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the Labuan International Financial Exchange. In February, Axiata reported a $164 million profit for the last quarter of 2009, as subscribers rose an annualised 34 percent in its regional markets.