Heavyweight real estate developer Ayala Land, conglomerate Ayala Corp and utilities company Metro Pacific Investments Corp fell between 5.4% and 7%, after increased government scrutiny on certain projects.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he would be reviewing the Manila Light Rail Transit contract, part of which is with a consortium of Ayala Corp and Metro Pacific Investments, the Manila Times reported https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/01/19/news/headlines/duterte-to-review-lrt-contract-next/675652 on Sunday.

According to a separate Manila Times story https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/01/20/news/top-stories/palace-isnt-done-with-ayala-targets-technohub/675908, the Presidential spokesperson on Sunday said the Ayala Technohub, an Ayala Land IT park project, might be subjected to an investigation.

"It looks like the purported review of the two contracts could be exerting pressure on the two entities (Ayala group and Metro Pacific Investments)" Charles William Ang, associate analyst at COL Financial Group said.

Losses in the banking sector dragged Thai shares down.

Lender Siam Commercial Bank dropped 12.8% to its lowest close in over 8 years, on reporting lower quarterly net interest income and attributable profit on Friday.

Indonesian stocks declined, as losses in the consumer and banking sectors weighed on the index.

Cigarette maker Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna was down 2.2%, while lender Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) gave up 2.9%.

An index of Indonesia's 45 most liquid stocks <.JKLQ45> was down 0.7%.

Protests by several thousand Indonesian workers against the so-called "omnibus" bills, covering 79 laws and meant to replace dozens of overlapping laws seen as obstacles to investment, soured market sentiment.

"We think that investors are re-calibrating their excitement of the omnibus law acting as a key catalyst for the nation's growth," said Taye Shim, head of research at Mirae Asset Sekuritas.

By Soumyajit Saha