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Drought crisis a potential threat to Thai growth

Feb 23. 2016
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By Sasithorn Ongdee

The Nation

The drought crisis, in addition to China’s economic slowdown, could be a threat to the Kingdom’s gross-domestic-product growth this year, Krungsri Asset Management (KSAM) said yesterday.

KSAM, which claims to be one of the top five Thai fund-management firms in terms of asset size, has suggested to investors an asset-allocation strategy to tackle capital-market volatility as a result of several risk factors, said Siriporn Sinacharoen, newly appointed managing director of the company.

"The drought will cause lower output among farmers and also a decline in their spending power, which might accordingly affect the country’s economic growth," said KSAM’s acting chief investment officer, Supaporn Leenabanchong.

Meanwhile, China is in a transitional period of economic restructuring from a consumer economy to an exporter and investor, resulting in a slowdown in its growth, she said.

The economic giant’s GDP growth for this year is expected to come in at around 6 per cent, compared to double-digit expansion in the past, she added.

However, Siriporn said KSAM had set a target for this year’s assets under management (AUM) at Bt373 billion – 15-per-cent growth from the end of 2015 – and customer-base growth of 14 per cent via the Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri) network of more than 630 branches.

"We will focus on new products based on both asset allocation and geography for more choices of investments, in line with economic situations and consistent returns in the long term," she said.

She added that KSAM would also educate investors about how to invest for the long term in order to achieve their targeted returns and satisfy risk appetites.

Last year, KSAM posted 15-per-cent growth in AUM to Bt320 billion, comfortably beating the industry average of 8 per cent.


The company’s number of customers grew by 20 per cent during the course of the year.

"Foreign investment funds were KSAM’s outstanding funds last year, with AUM growth of 220 per cent, while the equity fund KFSDIV recorded the largest inflow [compared to other stock funds in the industry] for a third consecutive year," the managing director said.

As for Thai GDP growth this year, Supaporn said KSAM expected the rate would be 3.2 per cent due to the country’s economic recovery – driven by stimulus measures, a clearer picture of the government’s policy on investment of infrastructures, and the booming tourism sector.

"KSAM is still optimistic about investment in the Thai stock market in the long term, though there will be volatility in the short term," she said, adding that the company believed that listed companies’ performance would recover this year.

The acting chief investment officer said KSAM expected overall listed companies’ |earnings growth this year |would be around 10 per cent, while the firm believed the |Thai stock market was still attractive among Asean| bourses.

Investors are also recommended to overweigh in equities, especially selective and growth stocks in both Thai and foreign capital markets, particularly in Europe and Japan.

As for debt instruments, investors should pick Thai debts rather than foreign debts, due to monetary-policy uncertainty, she explained.

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