Finance Minister: SET index plunges in tandem with worldwide markets

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BANGKOK, Dec 15 — Finance Minister Sommai Phasee said the plunge in the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) index happened in tandem with the declining indices of stock markets worldwde. 

The possibility of raising a fund to support stock prices is ruled out.

Mr Sommai attributed the plummeting SET index to concerns about the falling oil price.

He said that rises and falls were normal to stock exchanges and that the oil price reduction would cut the cost of living in Thailand. He called for fare reductions in public transport.

Mr Sommai said that the government would continue to act to restore confidence among Thai and foreign investors.

The government did not raise taxes but is cutting taxes to help small- and medium-sized enterprises and issuing measures to stimulate the economy, he said. He thinks the Thai economy and exports would improve next year.

SET President Kesara Manchusree said the SET index fell by more than 100 points today, sharing the same direction of movement with worldwide stock markets.

She said the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by as much as 315.51 points as the oil price plummeted worldwide, causing the value of oil stocks to fall globally.

Citing information from MSCI, Ms Kesara said the indices of emerging markets dropped by 5.8 per cent while the SET index decreased by 4.2 per cent, close to the decline of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.

She said the SET would follow up the situations closely but it was still unnecessary to set up a fund to support stock prices.

Ms Kesara advised investors not to panic with the index plunge.