Sunday, August 25, 2019

SET stable despite political thunderbolt

Feb 08. 2019
Princess Ubolratana
Princess Ubolratana
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By The Nation

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The Stock Exchange of Thailand remained flat on Friday despite two majors political events that rocked the Kingdom's political landscape.

Princess Ubolratana has been nominated by the Thai Raksa Chart Party, a major ally of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, as its sole candidate to be the next Prime Minister.

And incumbent Prime minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has accepted the Phalang Pracharat Party’s invitation to stand as its candidate for prime minister.

The SET index stood at 1,655.84, up 0.17 per cent at 4pm on 

Friday. Prinn Panitchpakdi, managing director at CLSA Securities said that that market had increased for several days and Friday's events do not make much difference to investors as they have more focused on external factors, such as a weaker US dollar and trade negotiation between the US and China. 

He said local investors were relieved after the date of election was announced. Now they are waiting to see whether Thai politics will be stable after the election, which will allow a new government to implement economic policies efficiently. 

Prinn previously projected that the benchmark index would soar to 1,850 points by the end of this year due partly to general positive impact of Thai politics. 

Anusorn Tamajai, dean of Rangsit University’s Economics Faculty, however, was upbeat about the Thai Raksa Chart Party’s choosing the Princess as their candidate to be the next prime minister. 

“The move would boost investor confidence and would draw more foreign direct investment into the Kingdom in the long run as they see potential political reconciliation after Thailand has been trapped in prolonged political conflicts,” said Anusorn. 

Ubolratana could be a key political mediator between two rival political forces; yellow and red shirts camps, he said.

This latest political development would also allow the 250- appointed senators to make a free choice for the next prime minister, he said.  Previously, they were expected to choose only junta-backed candidate or the incumbent Prime Minister Gen Prayut.  

Many economists and analysts reached by The Nation on Friday refused to make any comment citing the current situation is too sensitive for them to air their opinions.

The SET index closed at 1,651.68 points, down 0.09 per cent from Thursday. 

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