Citigroup raised its price target for Krung Thai Bank Pcl
to 23 baht from 21.64 baht and kept its 'buy' rating on the stock, as it expected the state-run bank's third-quarter results to be strong.
Shares of the second-largest bank in the country rose 1.1 percent to 18.5 baht on Thursday. The stock has risen 32 percent so far this year versus a 38 percent gain of the banking subindex and a 27 percent rise of the broader SET index .
The broker forecast the quarterly earnings ended September to rise 43 percent year-on-year to 7.9 billion baht ($258 million), boosted by SME and retail loan growth. It raised 2013 earnings estimate by 2 percent, citing loans to infrastructure projects.
"With government expecting to play a significant role in boosting the economy with a 2.3 trillion baht program, Krung Thai Bank should stand to gain from its relationship with government and state entities," it said in a report.
Listed commercial banks are due to report their third-quarter earnings from mid-October.
0929 (0229 GMT)
(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; firstname.lastname@example.org); Editing by Jijo Jacob
($1 = 30.58 baht)
Keywords: MARKETS THAILAND STOCKSNEWS/