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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs          5   July  2011

Investors unsure of Thai political stability

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Investors reacted positively to the peaceful election, but they are still unsure about long-term stability since political parties led by Thaksin Shinawatra and his allies have had short shelf lives.

Supavud Saicheua, a managing director of Phatra Securities, said that to keep investor confidence, a government needed to be established quickly.

He noted that every government headed by a party led by or allied with Mr. Thaksin had experienced problems. Thaksin himself was narrowly cleared by the Supreme Court in 2001 of incorrectly declaring his assets. "We have to keep an eye on Yingluck Shinawatra, who was accused of providing false information about her shareholding in Shin Corporation. We should be prepared if this party is forced to dissolve in the future," said Dr. Supavud.

The market would also monitor the new government's economic policies, as excessive state spending may derail long-term growth, driving inflation and forcing up interest rates. This would result in higher operating costs for businesses, cutting growth, he said.

Investors' sentiment is likely to remain upbeat in the short term, but they will be eager to see who the new cabinet ministers are, he added.

Phatra expects the SET to decline next year as operating costs rise, with a drop in oil prices putting heavy pressure on the SET because energy stocks comprise 30 percent of market capitalisation.

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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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