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SET Index 'to close year at 1,473 pts'

THE SET INDEX is expected to end this year at 1,473 points, while risks remain from a slower domestic economy, the political situation and cuts in listed companies' estimated profits, according to a recent survey by the Investment Analysts Association. The survey was conducted with 21 securities companies and two gold-futures firms.

Based on an average of the respondents' forecasts, the Stock Exchange of Thailand's main gauge will peak at 1,531 and close the year at 1,473. That is almost identical to the 1,472 points forecast early this year but lower than the 1,534 points predicted last December.

About 91 per cent of respondents expected the Kingdom's economic slowdown to pressure the stock market and 87 per cent saw the local political situation in the current quarter as another risk. Likely slashes in listed companies' 2014 earnings is another market concern. Growth in listed firms' earnings per share is estimated at 11 per cent in this survey, compared with the previous survey's 12.1 per cent.

About 87 per cent of total companies surveyed expected the global economic recovery to be positive for the Thai bourse, while 78 per cent expressed optimism on a likely return of foreign investors. Sixty-one per cent viewed as a positive factor an easing of the country's political unrest in the latter half of the year.

According to this survey, Thailand's gross domestic product is expected to grow by 2.4 per cent this year, compared with the previous survey's forecast of 2.9 per cent. The baht is projected at 33 per US dollar at the end of 2014. The local gold price is estimated at Bt20,300 per baht weight at the end of this year.

The survey suggested that about 40 per cent of the total investment portfolio would be in local stocks or equity funds, 21 per cent in foreign stocks or equity funds, 20 per cent in fixed-income products, 13 per cent in cash and deposits, and 6 per cent in gold and gold futures.

Meanwhile, the bourse has partnered with three securities firms and 30 listed companies to launch roadshows in Europe, North America and Asia to provide information to mutual funds on Thailand's economy and SET-listed companies in May and June, said SET president Charamporn Jotikasthira.

The 30 companies taking part in the roadshows had combined market capitalisation of Bt2.28 trillion as of May 9, or 18 per cent of the total. Half of the companies are not in the SET 50 because the bourse wants to provide an opportunity for mid-sized companies to meet with foreign investors.

As part of the planned roadshows, the SET will join with CLSA (Thailand) to hold "SET & CLSA EU-UK Outbound Roadshow 2014" in England, Scotland and France from May 19 to 23. The SET plans to hold seven overseas and two local roadshows this year.


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