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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        14  March 2011

Japanese tragedies should not affect Thai bourse

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Thai stocks are expected to see little impact from Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear incidents, according to Thai analysts.

While a full damage assessment remains weeks away, casualties are expected to rise into the thousands, with property damage reaching tens of billions of dollars.

Warut Siwasariyanon, deputy managing director of Finansia Syrus Securities, said sentiment would continue to be poor because of several negative factors. The worst are the disaster in Japan, civil war in Libya and political unrest in the Middle East.

"The market is waiting to see how the US president will eventually react toward Libya's leader," he said.

Other negative factors include renewed worries about European debt, following the downgrade by Moody’s Investors Services of Spain's credit rating.

Mr. Warut expects the SET index to drop this week to trade within a range of 980 and 990 points. "There should be a decline in the stock market as investors are likely to cut their risks for the short term," he said.

On Friday, shares of Thai Airways International dropped by 4.22 percent to close at 39.75 baht, in trade worth 276.06 million baht. All flights to Japan were temporarily cancelled.

Pichai Lertsupongkit, vice-president of Thanachart Securities, said the impact of events in Japan on the SET should be limited as Japanese investors were not large players on the Thai bourse.

However, he said the impact on direct investment could be huge given the number of Japanese companies and plants in Thailand.

Some of their production could be delayed for a short period if they rely on parts from Japan.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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