Thailand’s financial markets were busy during the first half of 2014.
Derivatives volume rose 38% at the Thailand Futures Exchange PCL (TFEX) to 93,834 contracts per day from a year earlier, underpinned by newly launched mini SET50 futures and stock futures. Stock futures business in Thailand now ranks at the 7th biggest in the world and rose in volume by 41% in the first half.
Looking ahead to the second half, TFEX said that it will continue to promote new products, especially options.
At the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), the daily average trading value of securities in the first half of this year was THB 35.6 billion (US$ 1.11 billion). Foreign investors sold a net US$ 1.28 billion from January to June.
The second quarter’s daily average trading value was up 32% quarter-on-quarter to US$ 1.26 billion.
During June, the average daily trading value was THB 48.6 billion, up 17.8 % from the previous month.
With a military coup occurring on 22 May and General Prayuth taking over the reins of government, it appears premature to call a growth trend for the whole of the year.
That said, there was political uncertainty before the coup which prejudiced investor interest at the time and in many quarters (including the SET in its recent statements), the new army-led government is regarded as providing investor stability and improving sentiment, and the exchange cites that as a reason for the improvement in volumes. Governments in recent decades in Thailand have invariably been pro-business and stock market-friendly whether military or civilian.