Economy March 18, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Invest in overseas stocks: research

Morning Star Research (Thailand) advised investors to turn to overseas stock markets for risk diversification after seeing the funds’ annual returns ranged from 6 to 13 per cent in the past three years.
Kittikun Tanaratpattanakit, an analyst at Morning Star Research (Thailand), a subsidiary of Chicago-based independent investment research provider, said five mutual funds worth more than Bt1.8 billion of total asset value were launched this year, with the policy of investing in developed markets. Two of the funds focus on Japan while the other three focus on European markets.
In addition, about 11 trigger funds with combined assets of Bt2.7 billion have been launched this year. The funds’ target varies from 6 to 12 per cent per annum and each focuses on investments in various overseas stock markets such as US, Japan, China and European countries.
Compared with the mutual funds investing in the domestic stock market, Kittikun said the funds investing abroad showed smaller combined assets size. Last year’s domestic mutual funds accounted for Bt400 billion, while funds investing in the US stock market were Bt8.5 billion, followed by European markets Bt6.84 billion and Japan Bt3.96 billion. 
Kittikun said developed stock markets in the US, Europe and Japan had been recovering. For the past three years, funds investing in the US market have given annual yields of 13.29 per cent, the EU funds 7.83 per cent and Japan funds 6.24 per cent.
“Many asset-management firms are still interested in the stock markets of developed economies as a choice for investment diversification,” Kittikun said. 
The funds investing in domestic markets for the past three years have given higher yields than those investing abroad. However, for the past year, the funds investing in the Thai stock market have had a negative yield.
Offices in Asean  
The Foreign Trade Department will soon open between three and five new regional offices to assist Thai enterprises in preparing for the upcoming Asean seamless trade and investment.
Surasak Riangkrul, department director-general, said more new offices would help Thai traders and investors do more business in other Asean countries. 
“Thai enterprises should be promoted to do more business in Asean to ensure that their businesses survive and grow along with Asean enterprises. The department is considering suitable places for opening more offices, which may be in border provinces or places that have high growth potential,” Surasak said. 
Sammitr eyes Indonesia 
Sammitr Motors Manufacturing, a maker of trucks, trailers, steel roofs, and auto accessories, may build a truck-assembly plant in Indonesia as well as expanding production in Thailand.
Managing director Yongyuth Posirisuk said yesterday that the company was studying the feasibility of constructing a truck and trailer assembly plant in Indonesia, where demand for trucks is higher than in Thailand. In addition, the company from now on will allot 3 per cent of its annual revenue to research and development.
Sammitr’s revenue last year was Bt10 billion, with manufacturing business accounting for Bt8 billion and the rest auto parts.