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SET likely to take more local focus

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has been cautious in adjusting its strategy to keep up with both the floods and the European debt crisis.

Pakorn Peetathawatchai, chief marketing officer of the SET, said that even though the current euro-zone public debt crisis would have more impact on sentiment in the Thai market than the ongoing flooding, the SET admits the floods cannot be underestimated.

“The floods in Bangkok could harm investor confidence over the future of the market,” said Mr Pakorn.

The market’s long-term goal _ expanding the number of foreign investors in the Thai bourse _ remains unchanged, but the SET may need to delay this strategy to the latter half of next year due to these crises.

“The SET may focus more on local investors to improve domestic investment sentiment. We must arrange more activities and better prepare investment information,” said Mr Pakorn.

“For foreign investors, starting in the first quarter, we have to focus on existing investors with long-term investments in Thailand such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan as the first priority.”

A year ago, the SET announced its mission to bring the Thai capital market to the doorstep of global investors. To achieve the mission, it focused on increasing market capitalisation and trading volume and targeting emerging markets such as the Middle East.

In another development, Thai Airways International (THAI) will be removed from the MSCI Asia Pacific index at the end of this month as its trading volume and market capitalisation had declined, according to MSCI’s latest review on Nov 11. The stock, however, will be added to the MSCI Global Small-Cap list.

Mr Pakorn acknowledged that the trading volume of regional markets had dropped across the board including Singapore, resulting in a decline in market capitalisation in Thailand as well.

“However, the fundamentals of most Thai listed firms remain strong. The SET will arrange a roadshow as soon as possible to restore the confidence of investors,” he said.

The SET’s market capitalisation peaked this year at 9.36 trillion baht on Aug 1, when it closed at 1,144.14 points. It fell after that in line with global trends. The lowest market capitalisation so far this year was at 7 trillion baht on Oct 4, with it closed at 855.45 points.

Source: Bangkok Post

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