SE Asia Stocks-Philippines plunges nearly 2% on real estate, infra stocks

By Soumyajit Saha

* Ayala Land, Ayala Corp, Metro Pacific drag down Philippines * Siam Commercial posts biggest intraday drop in over 11 years By Soumyajit Saha Jan 20 (Reuters) - Philippine shares slumped nearly 2% to a one-month low on Monday, dragged by sharp losses in real estate and infrastructure heavyweights after reports of increased government scrutiny on certain projects. President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday he would review the Manila Light Rail Transit contract, the Manila Times reported https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/01/19/news/headlines/duterte-to-review-lrt-contract-next/675652 on Sunday. A consortium of conglomerate Ayala Corp and utility company Metro Pacific Investments Corp was contracted to upgrade and expand the LRT Line 1 in 2014. In a separate story, the daily quoted https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/01/20/news/top-stories/palace-isnt-done-with-ayala-targets-technohub/675908 a palace spokesperson as saying the Ayala Technohub, an Ayala Land IT park project, might also be subjected to an investigation. Ayala Land, Ayala Corp and Metro Pacific Investments Corp fell between 5.6% and 6%. "It looks like the purported review of the two contracts could be exerting pressure on the two entities (Ayala group and Metro Pacific Investments)," Charles William Ang, associate analyst at COL Financial Group, said. Most other Southeast Asian stock markets edged lower in low-trade volumes. "Ahead of the Chinese New Year, as well as it being a U.S. holiday today, trading volumes are quite low in the region," said Nicholas Yon, an equity research analyst at Singapore-based Lim & Tan securities. Thai shares fell, hurt most by losses in banking stocks. Heavyweight Siam Commercial Bank dropped as much as 12.8% in its worst intraday trading in over 11 years, after it reported lower quarterly net interest income and attributable profit on Friday. Singapore stocks declined slightly, weighed down by losses in financials. United Overseas Bank was 0.6% lower, while real estate developer CapitaLand Ltd fell 0.8%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0350 GMT STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3274.15 3281.03 -0.21 Bangkok 1593.88 1600.48 -0.41 Manila 7578.85 7722.58 -1.86 Jakarta 6280.846 6291.657 -0.17 Kuala Lumpur 1594.41 1595.81 -0.09 Ho Chi Minh 976.06 978.96 -0.30 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3274.15 3222.83 1.59 Bangkok 1593.88 1579.84 0.89 Manila 7578.85 7,815.26 -3.02 Jakarta 6280.846 6,299.54 -0.30 Kuala Lumpur 1594.41 1588.76 0.36 Ho Chi Minh 976.06 960.99 1.57 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)