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Stock Exchange/Politics
July 23, 2007

Protest concerns weighs down SET
The Stock Exchange of Thailand’s composite index plunged almost 10 points at the opening bell of the trading session, dampened by unfavourable investment atmosphere in overseas stock markets and a violent demonstration by anti-coup protesters in front of the residence of Privy Council president and Senior Statesman Prem Tinsulanonda on the night of July 22.

The SET index nose-dived by 9.39 points to 841.15 with a trading value of 1.07 billion baht when the market opened on July 23, but managed to recoup its loss later and close the morning trading session in a positive territory at 851.28, up 0.74 or 0.09% with a trading value of 9.81 billion baht.

Viriya Lappromrat, director of Kiatnakin Securities Co,’s Analysis Division, said the index plunged at the opening bell partly because stock markets in the United States and Asia had declined and operating results of medium-size commercial banks were lower than expected.

In addition, the riot staged the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship-led protesters at the residence of Gen. Prem late last night was considered a very pressing factor to the market.

At the same time, some investors were waiting for a conclusion of measures to ease impacts of the baht surge to be raised for discussion by the committee tasked to drive overall economy on Monday before being forwarded to the cabinet for consideration on Tuesday.

Puvadol Lapudomsuk, senior director of Asia Plus Securities Plc’s Investment Strategy Division, said the index dropped sharply with heavy selling of stocks in the banking and energy sectors since investors were worried about the clash between the anti-coup demonstrators and police.

In addition the plunge in the Dow Jones Industrial Index by 149.33 or 1.07% on July 20 and the revision of performance of commercial banks, particularly their loan-loss provision, had fuelled the investor worry. TNA

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