ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Foreign investors see low Thai inflation
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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