Martial law in Thailand hurts currency, stocks, tourism

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thailand-martial-law-bangkokThailand’s currency, the baht, and Thai shares fell on May 20 after the army imposed martial law in an attempt to restore stability. The move follows months of political protests. The country’s benchmark stock index the SET fell by nearly 1 per cent.Over the past 12 months, the index has shed 12 per cent.

Meanwhile the currency fell by as much as 0.6 per cent to 32.52 Thai baht against the US dollar earlier in the day. It later pared those losses, after suspected official intervention. Traders in the region said they believed Thailand’s central bank had stepped in to stem a further fall in the value of the baht.

Foreign investors are clearly nervous about the developments in Bangkok and are hoping that this is a planned first step which could lead us out of the political mess by moving towards setting up a functional government and declaring an election schedule.

The martial law comes one day after Thailand reported a 2.1 per cent contraction in the economy in the first quarter of the year, when compared with the previous quarter.

Visitor numbers to the country may fall 5 per cent this year, the biggest drop since 2009, as the US and Hong Kong governments tell their people to be cautious while traveling to Thailand. The count of foreigners arriving in Thailand already dropped 4.9 per cent in the first four months of 2014 from a year earlier to 8.62 million, according to the Department of Tourism.

With tourism accounting for as much as 10 per cent of GDP, keeping hotels and shopping malls open and busy is key for Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, famous for its ancient Buddhist temples and pristine beaches. Over the last decade, Thailand’s travel industry had been bruised as a siege of the Suvarnabhumi airport by protesters and political violence in capital Bangkok prompted airlines to stop services.

Bangkok, which hosts more than half of the foreigners coming into the country, posted a 14 per cent decline in visitors in the first four months of this year.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand’s currency, the baht, and Thai shares fell on May 20 after the army imposed martial law in an attempt to restore stability. The move follows months of political protests. The country’s benchmark stock index the SET fell by nearly 1 per cent.Over the past 12 months, the index has shed 12 per cent.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

thailand-martial-law-bangkokThailand’s currency, the baht, and Thai shares fell on May 20 after the army imposed martial law in an attempt to restore stability. The move follows months of political protests. The country’s benchmark stock index the SET fell by nearly 1 per cent.Over the past 12 months, the index has shed 12 per cent.

Meanwhile the currency fell by as much as 0.6 per cent to 32.52 Thai baht against the US dollar earlier in the day. It later pared those losses, after suspected official intervention. Traders in the region said they believed Thailand’s central bank had stepped in to stem a further fall in the value of the baht.

Foreign investors are clearly nervous about the developments in Bangkok and are hoping that this is a planned first step which could lead us out of the political mess by moving towards setting up a functional government and declaring an election schedule.

The martial law comes one day after Thailand reported a 2.1 per cent contraction in the economy in the first quarter of the year, when compared with the previous quarter.

Visitor numbers to the country may fall 5 per cent this year, the biggest drop since 2009, as the US and Hong Kong governments tell their people to be cautious while traveling to Thailand. The count of foreigners arriving in Thailand already dropped 4.9 per cent in the first four months of 2014 from a year earlier to 8.62 million, according to the Department of Tourism.

With tourism accounting for as much as 10 per cent of GDP, keeping hotels and shopping malls open and busy is key for Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, famous for its ancient Buddhist temples and pristine beaches. Over the last decade, Thailand’s travel industry had been bruised as a siege of the Suvarnabhumi airport by protesters and political violence in capital Bangkok prompted airlines to stop services.

Bangkok, which hosts more than half of the foreigners coming into the country, posted a 14 per cent decline in visitors in the first four months of this year.

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