Sun, Sep 07, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Weak yen boosts Japanese automakers

STILL OPTIMISTIC regional indexes saw another week of gains, boosted by growing confidence in a global economic recovery and greater demand for cars overseas

BLOOMBERG

PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia, the nation's largest publicly-traded company, rose 15.9 percent to a 5,300 rupiah last week.

Most of the gains came after an Indonesian court on Tuesday sentenced Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir to four years in prison for taking part in a plot to overthrow the government.

"Despite the terrorism issue and possible rising tension ahead of elections next year, Indonesia's fundamentals remain intact," said Michael Tjoajadi, who helps manage the equivalent of US$95 million of Indonesian equities for Schroders Investment Management in Jakarta.

PT Gudang Garam, the country's largest cigarette maker by sales, surged 14.7 percent to 10,550 rupiah.

Thailand's benchmark SET index closed the week 3.7 percent higher at 557.81, its highest close since Feb. 3, 1998.

Siam Cement, Asia's second-biggest cement maker by capacity after Japan's Taiheiyo Cement Corp, rose 2.4 percent last week.

Thailand's unemployment rate fell to 1.4 percent, its lowest since December during the week. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said yesterday that low inflation will allow the government to buy rice and other agricultural products at above-market prices to boost rural incomes.

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