Investor confidence hits 7-month low on protest concerns

Investor confidence hits 7-month low on protest concerns

Investor confidence in Thailand's financial markets for the next three months dropped to a seven-month low, dented by growing political protests, a capital market association said on Thursday.

A survey in October by the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations showed its confidence index fell to 61.27, the lowest level since a record low of 56.7 in March.

"Investor confidence was dragged down by the local political situation, followed by an economic slump amid concerns over a second coronavirus wave," Paiboon Nalinthrangkurn, chairman of the federation, said in a statement.

"The October survey showed that investor confidence in all investor types slipped to the bearish zone," he said. 

The Thai stock market has dropped 21% so far this year, with foreign investors dumping 304 billion baht (US$9.79 billion) net of Thai shares. They have sold 65 billion baht of Thai bonds this year.

A separate survey by the Thai Bond Market Association showed the central bank might hold its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.50% at its next meeting on Nov 18, according to the association's senior vice president, Ariya Tiranaprakij.

The central bank has cut its policy rate three times this year.

Thailand has seen some of the biggest political protests in years in recent months, calling for the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, changes to the constitution and reforms to curb the powers of the monarchy.

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