The Thai stock market index on Wednesday made all-time high on the first trading day of 2018, closing at 1,778.53 points, gaining 24.82 points or up 1.42 per cent with a high trade volume of Bt85. 9 billion. It was the highest point of the SET Index since trading started in 1975.
The total trade volume on the SET and MAI totalled Bt88 billion. Market capitalisation also reached an all-time high of Bt18.17 trillion.
Last year, SET index rose 210.77 points, or 13.66 per cent, due to confidence in Thai economy and performance of listed companies, according to the statement issued by the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
The previous high of the SET index was 1,753.73 points on January 4, 1994 – before the economic crisis hit Thailand in 1997.
Some brokers predict the market could go up to 1,900 or 2,000 points this year.
“I am not surprised that the index could increase 100 points because investors are optimistic of the 2018 economic outlook and public investment,” said Prinn Panitchpakdi, managing director of CLSA Securities Thailand office.
Investors were not worried about politics but they put their focus on public investment after it was delayed last year, Prinn said. They believed the government would start large investment projects especially in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) this year.
Large public investment would lead to more private investment, he said.
Kobsidthi Silpachai, head of Capital Markets Research at Kasikornbank, was less optimistic, saying a rise in the US market may have largely contributed to the SET rise. Other factors included the “January effect” and the possibility of renewed talks between North Korea and South Korea. In the second quarter this year, investor sentiment could be reversed, he warned.