Thai stocks down as Bangkok braces for riots

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thai-armyThailand’s benchmark index SET, which already has been Asia’s worst performing stock benchmark in the past 3 months, slumped on August 1 after the government announced that it will impose the “Internal Security Act” ahead of expected riots on August 4 of protest groups whose aim it nothing less than to overthrow the current ruling elite.

The Internal Security Act enables the government to prevent the use of certain routes or vehicles by protesters, impose a curfew, ban gatherings, carry out searches of buildings and individuals for weapons and censor the media.

The protest are led by the “Thai People’s Army,” a newly-formed grouping of ultra-royalists who despise the ruling Pheu Thai party coalition and exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The group, supported by other anti-government alliances such as the “White Masks,” will protest in Bangkok starting on August 4 possibly for several days.

The SET Index has fallen 12 per cent over the past three months, led by declines in the property, finance and automotive sectors. The baht in July dropped for a fourth straight month, the longest losing streak since 2008.

Discontent towards the government led by Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin’s sister, has not only be expressed by royalists and opposition democrats, but also from parts of the army and the urban middle class.

Investments into Thailand have also slumped as many foreign companies decided to take a wait-and-see position how the political tensions develop. So far, the current government installed in 2011 has piled up a number of problems such as the loss-making rice pledging scheme, a failed first-car buyer scheme that lured many low-income people into debt, the poor handling of the ongoing oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Thailand, opaque flood management projects, as well as mega-investments in infrastructure that are linked to massive corruption.

It is also feared that the political volatility could affect tourism numbers.

In the last major unrest in 2010, two months of mass opposition protests in 2010 by Red Shirt supporters of Thaksin sparked a military crackdown that left about 90 people dead and nearly 1,900 wounded.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand’s benchmark index SET, which already has been Asia’s worst performing stock benchmark in the past 3 months, slumped on August 1 after the government announced that it will impose the “Internal Security Act” ahead of expected riots on August 4 of protest groups whose aim it nothing less than to overthrow the current ruling elite.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

thai-armyThailand’s benchmark index SET, which already has been Asia’s worst performing stock benchmark in the past 3 months, slumped on August 1 after the government announced that it will impose the “Internal Security Act” ahead of expected riots on August 4 of protest groups whose aim it nothing less than to overthrow the current ruling elite.

The Internal Security Act enables the government to prevent the use of certain routes or vehicles by protesters, impose a curfew, ban gatherings, carry out searches of buildings and individuals for weapons and censor the media.

The protest are led by the “Thai People’s Army,” a newly-formed grouping of ultra-royalists who despise the ruling Pheu Thai party coalition and exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The group, supported by other anti-government alliances such as the “White Masks,” will protest in Bangkok starting on August 4 possibly for several days.

The SET Index has fallen 12 per cent over the past three months, led by declines in the property, finance and automotive sectors. The baht in July dropped for a fourth straight month, the longest losing streak since 2008.

Discontent towards the government led by Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin’s sister, has not only be expressed by royalists and opposition democrats, but also from parts of the army and the urban middle class.

Investments into Thailand have also slumped as many foreign companies decided to take a wait-and-see position how the political tensions develop. So far, the current government installed in 2011 has piled up a number of problems such as the loss-making rice pledging scheme, a failed first-car buyer scheme that lured many low-income people into debt, the poor handling of the ongoing oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Thailand, opaque flood management projects, as well as mega-investments in infrastructure that are linked to massive corruption.

It is also feared that the political volatility could affect tourism numbers.

In the last major unrest in 2010, two months of mass opposition protests in 2010 by Red Shirt supporters of Thaksin sparked a military crackdown that left about 90 people dead and nearly 1,900 wounded.

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