Morgan Stanley Research maintained its country preference for Indonesia over Thailand and Singapore saying Indonesian companies have had the best earnings performance for the October-December quarter on strong growth in financials.

Thirteen out of 24 Indonesian companies in the Morgan Stanley MSCI list beat consensus expectations, the broker said in its ASEAN Equity Strategy report, dated April 3.

Financials beat consensus expectations by 17 percent, led by PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia Persero Tbk, it said.

In comparison, MSCI Singapore companies beat consensus expectations by 3.6 percent while MSCI Thailand companies missed the expectations by 7.7 percent, the report said.

Indonesia has been the only ASEAN 3 country to have seen positive upward revisions in forecast 2013 earnings per share by 60 basis points over the last four weeks, it said.

Consensus has revised down forecast 2013 earnings per share for MSCI Singapore companies by 60 basis points in the last four weeks and for MSCI Thai companies by 30 basis points in the same period, the report said.

"We reiterate our country preference of Indonesia ... We would use any macro headwind-driven correction, particularly in the Indo market, as another interesting entry opportunity," the broker said.

MSCI's index of Indonesia has risen 14.1 percent so far this year, outperforming a 4.5 percent gain of MSCI's index of Singapore and a 2 percent gain of MSCI's index of Thailand.

Reuters

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