Friday, September 22, 2023
HomepoliticsThai market may muddle through state of emergency

Thai market may muddle through state of emergency

While protests in Thailand spurred the government to declare a state of emergency in the capital, the move was largely expected and analysts believe the country's stock market will muddle through until the elections.

The government declared a 60-day state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding provinces late Tuesday, allowing security agencies powers including enforcing curfews, detaining suspects without charges and preventing political gatherings of more than five people.

(Read more: Thai government declares state of emergency)

It isn't entirely clear whether the declaration will affect the protests much as the government has said it doesn't plan to clear protestors' camps at major road junctions and so far it hasn't set a curfew.

"It doesn't necessarily change the game. It could just be a formality and until they take more stern action, the market will probably just wait and see," said Derek Bloomfield, an analyst at Deutsche Tisco. The SET index opened down around 0.7 percent.

A strip of Thai bank notes are passed from supporters as a donation to anti-government leader Suthep Thaugsuban during a march in downtown Bangkok on January 22, 2014, as part of ongoing rallies.Piti A Sahakorn | LightRocket | Getty Images

"If they make the declaration and then stand back and don't actually do anything, then it doesn't actually change the market outlook," he said, adding the government appears to be trying to maintain peace. But he noted shares could react negatively if the government uses force to clear the protests, as it could cause the situation to escalate.

(Read more: To cut or not cut? Thailand mulls rate move)

Over the weekend, around 30 people were injured after explosions at a camp of anti-government protestors and one person was killed and around 35 wounded in a separate grenade attack.

Others also expected a muted market reaction.

"This is something local investors have expected and indeed, the previous six times an emergency decree has been announced, the SET fell 0.9 percent on the day, but rebounded 3.4 percent a month later," Julius Baer said in a note.

Foreign investors already pulled around 194 billion baht, or $6 billion, from Thai shares in 2013, reversing the inflows of the last four years

(Read more: Has Thailand's government survived the gauntlet?)

"Those who wanted to sell have already done so and those who haven't stayed inside," Song Seng Wun, head of research at CIMB, told CNBC. "Valuations are cheap, but certainly at this juncture, would you jump in? Probably not."


Most Popular