Thai stocks drop most in Asia on outflow concern

Thailand's stocks fell Tuesday, reversing earlier gains, amid speculation overseas investors may add to the biggest monthly net sales in almost two years.

  • Published: 18/06/2013 at 06:41 PM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

The benchmark SET Index (SET) slid 3% to close at 1,427.42, the steepest loss in a week and the most among Asian benchmark indexes. Siam Commercial Bank Pcl (SCB), the country's third-biggest lender by total assets, and PTT Pcl were the biggest drags on the index. All but one of the gauge's 27 industry groups retreated.

"More pressure from foreign selling is likely," said Veera Vutthikongsirigool, chief investment officer at Krung Thai Asset Management Co, which oversees about US$14 billion of investments. "Market volatility will remain high."

Foreign investors sold a net $1 billion of Thai shares in June through Monday, the most for a month since August 2011, according to exchange data compiled by Bloomberg. The SET has plunged 13% since May 22, when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S Bernanke said US policy makers may scale back stimulus efforts if the employment outlook improves sufficiently.

The recent declines pared the SET gauge's gain this year to 2.6%, after the measure surged 36% in 2012.

Siam Commercial sank 4% to 167 baht. PTT tumbled 2.4% to 321 baht.

Prasarn Trairatvorakul, governor of the Bank of Thailand, said the US Fed's announcement that it might ease the quantitative easing (QE) policy will not affect Thailand. 

Mr Prasarn said the bond market in the country has received more than 800 billion baht of foreign funds, which accounted only 12% of the total bonds in the country.

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