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SE Asia Stocks-Vietnam up 2.5 pct on Sabeco stake sale; Philippines rebounds

By Nikhil Nainan

Dec 18 (Reuters) - Vietnam shares rose more than 2

percent on Monday, helped by a $5 billion stake sale in

state-owned Sabeco in the country's biggest ever

privatisation process, while Philippines rose on

bargain-hunting after last week's losses.

A unit of Thai Beverage won the auction to buy a

54 percent stake in the top brewer, with the Thailand-based

company emerging as the only buyer after the anticipated sale of

the state-owned maker of Bia Saigon gained momentum in recent

months.

The Vietnam index ended 2.5 percent higher with gains in

consumer staples and financial stocks boosting sentiment, and is

hovering near a decade-high hit earlier this month.

Shares of Sabeco gained as much as 2.8 percent before

closing flat.

"From last week, the market has expected that (Sabeco's

share sale) would be successful; therefore investors have a

positive outlook at the beginning of this week," said Do Bao

Ngoc, a senior analyst at MB Securities in Hanoi.

The Vietnam index posted a weekly loss of 2.1 percent last

week.

"Top Vietnamese stocks went through two weeks of strong

correction; prices of some stocks dropped to a level that was

quite appealing (to investors). After this market correction, a

strong cash flow returned to the market, especially into the top

stocks," Do said.

Among other gainers, Vietnam Dairy Products JSC

rose 4.1 percent, while Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp

was up 6.3 percent.

In the Philippines, shares closed 1 percent higher

following losses of about 1.5 percent on Friday.

Real estate stocks drove the gains on the index, with Ayala

Land up 2.1 percent and SM Prime Holdings Inc

climbing 1.9 percent.

"The market went down sharply on Friday, and today is some

bargain-hunting ahead of a possible window dressing by the end

of the year," said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Asiasec Equities

Inc in Manila.

Indonesia recovered from losses earlier in the day

to close 0.2 percent higher. Unilever Indonesia Tbk PT

rose 1.6 percent, while cigarettes maker Gudang Garam Tbk PT

ended 3.1 percent higher.

Thai stocks closed up 0.4 percent, while Singapore

and Malaysia were little changed.

For Asian Companies click;

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: CHANGE ON DAY

Market Current Previous close Pct Move

Singapore 3414.82 3416.94 -0.06

Bangkok 1724.51 1717.69 0.40

Manila 8422.82 8337.04 1.03

Jakarta 6133.963 6119.419 0.24

Kuala Lumpur 1751.64 1753.07 -0.08

Ho Chi Minh 958.06 935.16 2.45

Change so far this year

Market Current End 2016 Pct Move

Singapore 3414.82 2880.76 18.54

Bangkok 1724.51 1542.94 11.77

Manila 8422.82 6840.64 23.13

Jakarta 6133.963 5296.711 15.81

Kuala Lumpur 1751.64 1641.73 6.69

Ho Chi Minh 958.06 664.87 44.10

(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; addtional

reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru and Nguyen Mi in

Vietnam; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)