SET index's rocky March paces peers
Thailand's stock market saw the lowest decline among major Asean bourses in March due to effective temporary measures, says the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).
The SET index fell by 16% month-on-month in March, compared with declines of 16.8%, 17.6% and 19.8% seen in the Indonesian and Singaporean stock markets and the MSCI Asean index.
Net foreign outflows in 2020 totalled 129.3 billion baht as of April 8.
Temporary measures implemented by the Thai bourse to curb market volatility include revisions of the regulations for triggering a circuit-breaker and short-selling of securities, as well as reducing the annual fee for SET members and postponing annual shareholder meetings or holding them virtually, said SET president Pakorn Peetathawatchai.
"Measures to manage the stock market's volatility have been very effective," Mr Pakorn said. "The SET index's volatility was lower than others in the region and in Europe so far."
Foreign in-vestors have started to return to invest in the domestic bourse this month after net outflow of 78.36 billion baht in March, with foreign holding of local equities making up 27.6% of total investor proportion.
The coronavirus outbreak, oil price movements and the effects of the government's aid measures are factors warranting a close watch going forward, Mr Pakorn said.
Senior executive vice-president Soraphol Tulayasathien said the SET index closed at 1,125.86 in March, down 28.7% from year-end 2019 and 16% from the preceding month.
The forward price-to-earnings ratio of the SET index was 13.4 at the end of March, while the historical P/E ratio was 13, above the Asian equity market averages of 11.3 and 12.8.
"Dividend yield ratio of the SET index was 4.5% in March, above Asian stock markets' average ratio of 3.6%", Mr Soraphol said, citing this factor in foreign investment flows' movement into the local stock market.
The combined market capitalisation of the SET and the Market for Alternative Investment in March amounted to 12.3 trillion baht, down 27.7% from year-end 2019.
Funds raised via initial public offerings stood at 56.13 billion baht in the first quarter, while capital derived from secondary public offerings amounted to 67.59 billion baht.