SE Asia Stocks-Singapore falls on China virus fears, Philippines extends losses

By Soumyajit Saha

* Banking and industrial stocks drag Singapore * Industrial and utility stocks weigh on Thailand By Soumyajit Saha Jan 21 (Reuters) - Singapore stocks dropped over 1% tracking broader Asia, as investors were spooked by an escalating coronavirus outbreak in China, while Philippines slid under the 1% mark for the second consecutive session on concerns of regulatory incursions into private contracts. The outbreak of a new coronavirus has spread to more Chinese cities, including Shanghai and the capital Beijing, authorities said on Monday. "Concerns over the spread of the virus is affecting market sentiments. Unfortunately, it's coming at a bad time because it's the travel season in China ahead of the New Year celebrations," said Linus Loo, head of research at Lim & Tan Securities. Losses in the banking and industrial sectors weighed on the city-state's benchmark as it fell to its lowest in nearly two weeks. Lender DBS Group Holdings lost nearly 1%, while conglomerate Jardine Strategic Holdings was down over 2%. Philippine shares were dragged down by heavy losses in the financial sector, with conglomerate Ayala Corp and real estate developer Ayala Land shedding 5.1% and 2.8% respectively. Regulatory scrutiny on certain projects related to the Ayala group had led to "possible regulatory risks involved in private sector's contracts with the government," Rachelle Cruz, analyst at AP Securities said. Foreign investors seem to have concerns about other companies that have similar contracts, and the possibility of probes into such contracts, Cruz added. President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he would review a government rail transit contract https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/01/19/news/headlines/duterte-to-review-lrt-contract-next/675652 with Ayala and Metro Pacific Investment Corp, while the presidential spokesperson had separately hinted at investigations into an Ayala IT park https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/01/20/news/top-stories/palace-isnt-done-with-ayala-targets-technohub/675908, on Sunday, The Manila Times reported. Thai stocks were also lower, hurt by losses in the industrial and utility sectors. Airport operator Airports of Thailand PCL dropped 3.7%, while chemical maker PTT Global Chemical PCL plunged 6%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0318 GMT STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 3243.93 3280.09 -1.10 Bangkok 1585.34 1589.11 -0.24 Manila 7481.12 7552.6 -0.95 Jakarta 6252.105 6245.043 0.11 Kuala Lumpur 1589.74 1588.88 0.05 Ho Chi Minh 982.09 978.63 0.35 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3243.93 3222.83 0.65 Bangkok 1585.34 1579.84 0.35 Manila 7481.12 7,815.26 -4.28 Jakarta 6252.105 6,299.54 -0.75 Kuala Lumpur 1589.74 1588.76 0.06 Ho Chi Minh 982.09 960.99 2.20 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)