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Thai economy already bottomed out, say top economists

Thai economy already bottomed out, say top economists

The Thai economy has already bottomed out given the improved economic indicators and implementation of the government’s economic stimulus packages, according to a veteran fund manager and leading academic.
Speaking at a panel discussion on “In-depth Analysis of Hot Stocks: Opportunities for Well-Off from Thai Stocks,” Maris Tharab, president of ING (Thailand) Asset Management Co., said that given the recent improvements in economic signals, he believes the Thai economy has already bottomed out.
Domestic purchasing power has already begun to increase because the public is daring to spend more.
At the same time, the government’s plan to apply its 2009 budget of about Bt115 billion and another Bt800 billion in loans meant to stimulate the economy through development of transport routes and the purple-line electric mass transit system would enable more money to flow into the economic system.
These combined actions will enable the Thai economy to begin recovering late this year and clearly pick up in 2010.
He said the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) composite index had risen at a slower pace than many countries in the region since early this year although the value and earning growth of stocks are now more attractive than before.
Because of this, he predicted that the Thai stock market will be more bullish than the exchanges in neighboring countries in the second half of this year.
Thanawat Polvichai, director of the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) Economic and Business Forecasting Center, said the Thai economy had already hit bottom.
However, the economy would not recover in a “V” shape as the prime minister projects, but would instead possibly recover in a “U” shape because investors and tourists remain worried about local political woes and external risk factors.
Nevertheless, if the Thai Khem Keng (Stronger Thai) project is successfully implemented, it would contribute greatly to the country’s economic recovery. (TNA)