SE Asia Stocks-Most rise after 3 central banks cut rates; Indonesia leads

By Soumyajit Saha

* Malaysia rises on telecom and financial stocks * Philippine stocks trade sideways awaiting rate decision By Soumyajit Saha Aug 8 (Reuters) - Indonesia led gains amid largely positive Southeast Asian markets on Thursday, as investors digested hefty rate cuts announced by three central banks on Wednesday, while Singapore stocks fell after disappointing results from some blue-chip companies. The Bank of Thailand unexpectedly cut its benchmark rate, while the Reserve Bank of New Zealand reduced its official cash rate by an above-expectation 50 basis points. The Reserve Bank of India opted for an unconventional 35 basis point cut to its repo rate, above wider forecasts. "It appears that every central bank is now in the business of showing that it is a cut above the rest/expectations" Mizuho Bank said in a note to clients. "Upshot being, aggressive rate cuts as a means to fire-up the economy may not always cut it; and certainly not always a means to being a cut above" the note added. Indonesian shares rose on the back of a rally in banking and consumer stocks. Lender Bank Mandiri (Persero) rose 1.4%, while cigarette manufacturer Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna rose 0.7%. Bank Indonesia's new senior deputy governor on Wednesday said she expected "the direction of monetary policy easing to last long into the future". The central bank had cut its benchmark rate by 25 basis points last month. Singapore stocks were dragged down by large caps such as Capitaland Ltd and Singapore Telecommunications , which fell 1.4% and 1.2% each. Singapore Telecommunications flagged a 35% fall in net profit attributable, while Capitaland also saw its quarterly PATMI fall. Malaysian shares reversed track from Wednesday's fall to trade higher, helped by gains in financial and telecom stocks. Lender RHB Bank rose 1.8%, while telecom co Axiata Group gained 1.4%. Philippine stocks were flat as gains in the telecom sector offset losses in the real estate sector. The Philippine Q2 GDP growth missed expectations as government spending remained subdued, reminding of rising downside risks like the Sino-U.S. trade war. Its central bank is widely expected to cut the benchmark rate in a meeting later in the day, a Reuters poll showed. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0434 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3171.09 3184.69 -0.43 Bangkok 1669.8 1669.44 0.02 Manila 7923.53 7917.39 0.08 Jakarta 6252.678 6204.195 0.78 Kuala Lumpur 1613.66 1604.7 0.56 Ho Chi Minh 969.88 965.93 0.41 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3171.09 3068.76 3.33 Bangkok 1669.8 1563.88 6.77 Manila 7923.53 7,466.02 6.13 Jakarta 6252.678 6,194.50 0.94 Kuala Lumpur 1613.66 1690.58 -4.55 Ho Chi Minh 969.88 892.54 8.67 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha; editing by Uttaresh.V)