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New Thai Government Spurs Unseen Investor Confidence in Months

Published: September 6, 2023 at 8:57 pm

Economy of Thai

Investor optimism in Thailand has surged to its peak in seven months due to the recent establishment of a new government. However, experts caution that challenges persist, with China’s economic slowdown being a prominent concern.

The newly minted 11-party government was inaugurated by the King of Thailand this week, signaling an end to the political uncertainty that plagued the nation since the May elections.

Latest figures from the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations (FETCO) spotlight this renewed confidence. In August, their investor confidence index was 141.27, a 69.3% increase from July’s 83.45, changing its stance from ‘neutral’ to ‘bullish.’ Furthermore, foreign investor confidence experienced an 87.5% boost in the same timeframe, demonstrating a shift from a bearish to a bullish sentiment.

However, the benchmark stock index (.SETI) has dropped about 7% since the start of 2023. Despite last year’s 202.7 billion baht ($3.9 billion) investment, foreign investors have net sold off approximately 138 billion baht of Thai shares this year.

Chairman of FETCO, Kobsak Pootrakool, believes that the new stable political scene might lure foreign capital back to Thailand. He recommends that the government amplify efforts to rejuvenate the economy before the year concludes, emphasizing the potential of the tourism sector, which “does not require large investments.”

Taking charge, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who concurrently serves as the finance minister, declared the government’s commitment to uplift the economy, aiming to deliver on major campaign promises and address the immediate needs of the Thai people.

However, economic challenges persist. Data reveals that the second-largest Southeast Asian economy grew by a modest 1.8% from April to June 2023, down from its performance in the preceding quarter. Consequently, the central bank is considering revising its growth projection for the year downward.

SOURCE: Reuters

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