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NEWS UPDATES 18 February 2010

Thailand: Local investors unruffled by political unrest

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Thailand's domestic institutional investors are more confident of the government’s capacity and competence to keep peace and order in the country, national news agency TNA reported, quoting Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij.

More than 20 Bangkok-based institutional investors from asset management companies met Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thugsuban in charge of security affairs and the finance minister at Government House on Tuesday to seek their views on the current political situation.

Speaking after the 2-hour meeting, Korn said the deputy premier explained to the investors about the ongoing political tension and security measures to prevent untoward incidents.

“Overall, most fund managers have more confidence because Suthep was able to clarify all doubts about coup rumours and internal conflicts among the government [coalition] partners,” he said.

Bualuang Asset Management Managing Director Vorawan Taraphumi, who is president of the Association of Asset Management Companies, said the deputy premier was able to clear all doubts voiced by the investors about preventive and security measures to cope with any possible violence by anti-government demonstrators.

“We are completely confident the government will be able to supervise and control the situation after being informed of what it planned to do to prevent the violence,” she said.

On the coup rumors, she said Mr Suthep affirmed there would be no coup because the government had firm connections with the military top brass.

She believed there would be no violence on the eve of the court ruling on the confiscation of ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s frozen assets valued at 76 billion baht ($2.3 billion) on February 26.

Vorawan conceded some investors had redeemed their investments in the company’s mutual funds since early this year because they felt upset about the persistent political turmoil. However, the redemption amount was less than 1 per cent of all portfolios.

Meanwhile, Bank of Thailand (BoT) Assistant Governor Suchada Kirakul said the central bank is set to prepare a contingency plan if there is any disorder following the court’s ruling on the ousted premier’s frozen assets on February 26.

She said every central bank must have a contingency plan to maintain liquidity and rein in heavy fluctuations in response to any possible undesirable incidents such as a sabotage or disaster.


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