ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai organizations call for end to violence
With the July 3 election less than two weeks away and politicians running intense campaigns, concerns have been raised about the possibility of violence after the election.
They issued a joint statement calling for a commitment by politicians to respect the election results and prevent any more violence in society. Ambassadors and envoys from many countries joined the press conference titled "Approaching Reconciliation by Overcoming Violence."
The Federation of Thai Capital Market Organisations, the Thai Bankers' Association, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries, Tourism Council of Thailand and two media organisations, Thai Journalist Association and Thai Broadcast Journalists Association, made the plea.
Charamporn Jotikasthira, president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand, a representative from the Thai Capital Market Organisations, said that political division had played a large part in eroding investor confidence in the Thai stock market. He said that in one month during the strife-torn month of May last year, foreign investors' net-sell of Thai shares was valued at Bt60 billion (US$2 billion). He warned if this continued, investors would shift their investments to other markets.
"The violence last year killed the Thai capital market's immunity. We must come out to fight against possible violence. If all parties want to recreate confidence and proceed with reconciliation, there must be no more violence," he said.
Foreign investors have shown signs of a loss of confidence, as in the past three weeks their net sales topped Bt20 billion. Some brokerage houses also underweighted Thai stocks on political concerns.
"New violence could cause even more damage if we take into account that foreign investors' net sell in the Thai bourse within one month last year was Bt60 billion," he said.
He said opinion surveys pointed to a high likelihood of post-election violence. This is a grave cause for concern as political tension in the past 5-6 years have caused huge damage to the economy and investor confidence, which have affected people from all walks of life. He said that though political parties have vowed to bring about reconciliation, there is no concrete proposal yet.
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