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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        23  April 2011

Foreign investors see low Thai inflation

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Foreign investors are bullish on the Thai stock market, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) as Thailand has done a better job than most countries of keeping inflation in check,

The SET Index, which closed yesterday at 1,105.29 points, has gained 7 percent since the beginning of this year, the best performance in Southeast Asia.

Veerathai Santiprabhob, chief strategy officer at the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said overseas investors were no longer looking at Asia as one market but were considering each country separately based on varying attractiveness and threats.

"The views of foreign investors on Asean are different now. Increasing fund flows have moved to Thailand compared to other countries in the region as there is less pressure on inflation," he said.

'The rise of the SET index also reflects rising oil prices that have benefited the energy and resources sector while the banking industry has also benefited from the rise in the policy rate. Both sectors have large market capitalisation and so they drive the market."

As of March 31, the local market's capitalisation was 8.48 trillion baht, up 1.84 percent from the end of last year.

But the forward price/earnings (P/E) ratio declined to 12.38 times from 14.75 times at the end of 2010.

The derivatives market has also been active, especially single-stock futures. In the first quarter, average daily transactions were 27,226 contracts, up 15.5 percent from the previous quarter.

"The increase was contributed by existing products such as SET50 index futures and new products such as 10-baht gold futures, in which the number of contracts rose by 59.13%," said Tientip Subhanij, head of the Capital Market Research Institute.

In March, 10-baht gold futures set a record with average daily trading volume of 4,017 contracts, the highest since they were launched in last August.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   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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