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July 3, 2007

Thai index surges to record high in decade
Increased confidence in Thailand’s political and economic outlook sent the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) composite index to close at 2.63% higher July 3, breaking the 800-point barrier to hit the highest level since the financial crisis which hit the country a decade ago.

The SET composite index closed at 813.52 points, up 20.81 points from July 2 and the highest since Thailand floated its currency, the baht, on July 2, 1997 sparking a regional meltdown. The SET index on that day closed at 803.13 points.

The turnover on July 3 was very high at about Bt46.93 billion as foreign investors were net buyers of about Bt7.83 billion and institutional investors were also net buyers of Bt1.01 billion.
A stock analyst at Capital Nomura Securities Public Co., Ltd. said the index rose sharply after foreign investors bought blue-chips in energy, shipping and securities sectors on high confidence that their earnings would perform impressively.

Bright prospects for the Thai economy was another positive factor.

Sombat Naravuthichai, secretary-general of the Securities Analysts Association, said the stock market rose sharply as investors gained more confidence on Thai politics while inflation was at low level and there were signs that local interest rates would retreat further to 3%.

Analysts have predicted that Thailand’s economic this year would improve while several securities firms are planning to revise up the SET index to close at around 780-840 points at end-2007 versus 731-point projected earlier, said Mr. Sombat.

Since the beginning of this year up till now, net buying by foreign investors amounted about to Bt100 billion compared to between Bt100 to Bt150 billion annually in the past, said Mr. Sombat, adding that there were signs that foreigners would continue to invest on the SET.

Foreigners normally invest in blue-chip stocks such as those under the energy and bank issues, Mr. Sombat added. TNA

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