Wednesday, January 09, 2008

SET index likely to stay volatile

SET index likely to stay volatile

The Stock Exchange of Thailand's composite index is likely to stay volatile and fall below 800 points given the continued selling by foreign investors upon concerns over a US economic recession, according to SET chairman Pakorn Malakul na Ayudhaya.

"The index has a chance to stay below 800 points because the market sentiment is so volatile. Foreign investors continue to sell heavily as they are worried the US economy may be in recession due to persistent sub-prime lending woes," he said.

At present, he said, 107 companies had applied for listing on SET and in the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI).

Of these, 48 firms want to raise funds through SET and 59 companies via MAI. They have a combined
market capitalisation of Bt300 billion, Mr Pakorn said, noting that SET would attempt to list as many as
the companies as possible this year.

On the progress in the planned privatisation of SET, he said, the Boston Consulting Group had been
hired to study the plan.

The group is in the process of studying various data and is expected to wrap up its study in May.

Mr Pakorn added that the SET planned to increase the number of institutional investors in the market this
year to ensure the stability of stock price movements.

It also planned to encourage state enterprises to be listed on the market.

In Malaysia, he said, more than 40 state enterprises had raised funds through the stock market. But in Thailand, only seven state enterprises had mobilised funds through the market so far.

Unless Thailand attempted to encourage state enterprises to raise funds through the market, he said,
SET's market capitalisation will grow at a slower pace than that of other markets in the region. (TNA)

17:22 Jan 09, 2008

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