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Foreigners revisit SET

Foreign investors have staged a return to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, signalling an easing of the political situation, after their net sales of Thai stocks declined, said SET executives.

The apparent change came after the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) pulled down its rally stages and combined them into one.

SET president Charamporn Jotikasthira said foreign investors' selling spree had begun not only to ease but it was showing signs of a turnaround. So far this month, their net buys of Thai stocks have totalled Bt4.6 billion. He attributed this mainly to improvements in the earnings of listed companies, with a 15-per-cent rise year on year in combined sales to Bt11.3 trillion and a 7.2-per-cent increase in combined net profit to Bt760 billion. And the political protest movement's decision to scale down its rally sites in Bangkok also helped.

"The [PDRC move] and improvements in listed companies' performance have boosted the SET Index. Trading volume previously was thin and the index' movement volatile. The gauge moved 200 points in two weeks. However, it's a chance for investment, particularly for the long term. Investors will see listed companies' performance in the long term, which could increase their confidence," Charamporn said.

He said the number of companies submitting filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission had not fallen. Despite the SET Index volatility, fund mobilisation through the stock market was still possible.

Charamporn said that although the bourse is not out of the woods yet, the SET and related agencies would continue providing knowledge and understanding to potential investors, aiming for the number of new players to be no less than last year. In 2013, more than 100,000 newcomers invested in the SET. Usually, about 30,000 new investors come in each year.

SET chairman Sathit Limpongpan said the situation in Ukraine had no direct impact on business operators or the Thai stock market, but might have some psychological impact on investment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1 per cent.

Sathit said the SET yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Thailand Productivity Institute and the Ministry of Industry to strengthen the performance of listed companies and those planning to list on the main bourse and the Market for Alternative Investment.

The SET composite index yesterday rose 0.04 per cent to close at 1,352.21.


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