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Thai bourse chief hopes to see return of foreign investors

FTI executive hopes to see Thai steel industry lead ASEAN

Thai bourse chief hopes to see return of foreign investors

Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) chairman Pakorn Malakul Na Ayudhya has predicted that foreign investors will return to buy Thai stocks in the second half of this year after having initially reduced their investment portfolios by around Bt74 billion in the first half of the year.
The SET chief said the fundamentals of the Thai bourse and listed companies remained attractive for foreign investment. “I think the overall investment in the Thai bourse and stock prices in the second half of this year will be better than now. Foreign investors have already sold a lot of shares while local investors have begun to buy more. So, I believe some foreign investors will return to buy shares,” he said.
Pakorn said that since early this year, the SET index had dropped by a lower proportion than those of other markets in the region. He cited the Vietnamese and Chinese stock markets as an example, both of which have plunged by about 60 and 50 percent respectively. It showed that foreign investors remained confident of Thailand’s economic fundamentals and the strong performances of listed companies he said.
Pakorn reasoned that foreign investors had dumped their Thai stocks in order to reinvest in the United States markets where key interest rates are expected to rise. The withdrawal of their investments is also a part of an effort to reduce risks from fluctuations in the exchange rate of the baht and the US dollar.
He said the anti-government demonstrations led by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) is considered as one of the risk factors, but said it is not the key factor that caused the foreign investors to sell their shares.
The SET chairman predicted that Thailand’s gross domestic product this year would outgrow that of last year, which saw GDP expand 4.8 percent, due to a continuing growth in the export sector thanks to a higher world demand for farm products and rising prices.
Concurrently, the government’s economic stimulus package and state-supported mega projects would help drive the country’s economic growth, he said. (TNA)


FTI executive hopes to see Thai steel industry lead ASEAN

Thailand’s steel industry could stand at the forefront of the ASEAN market in the future if it focuses on development in terms of both technology and human resources, according to an industry executive.
Federation of Thai Industries’ Steel Industry Club president Payungsak Chatsuthipol conceded that many operators in the steel industry were concerned over news reports that Industry and Deputy Prime Minister Suwit Khunkitti planned to end the required industrial standard for steel products. This could have repercussions on the steel and construction industries and related sectors they feared.
Consequently, Payungsak sought clarification from the ministry and received an affirmation that it would not cancel the criteria. He said Thailand’s steel producers met and voiced agreement that Thailand should come up with an approach to enforcing an agreed standard for locally manufactured steel products.
Payungsak said the private sector was confident Thailand’s steel industry could stand at the forefront of the ASEAN market if operators cooperated with foreign strategic partners to produce upstream steel products and develop technologies and human resources in the industry.
He said he was not worried about the liberalisation of the steel industry because he believed that the local producers had a competitive edge and that with production of both upstream and downstream steel, concerns over heavy fluctuations of steel prices in the world market would ease.
Thailand’s current steel demand totals 13 million tonnes per year and is expected to reach 20 million tonnes a year in the next five to 10 years. (TNA)