PM urges investors not to panic at SET index plunge

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BANGKOK, Dec 16 — Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha urges stock traders not to believe rumours, while the authorities are keeping close watch on possible stock manipulators.

Regarding the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) index that plunged by more than 100 points yesterday and 29 points this morning, Gen Prayut said at Government House that the index could fluctuate and investors should be able to bear the risk. However, he advised the public not to believe rumours.

“There was the official statement of the Bureau of the Royal Household about the conditions of His Majesty the King. The matter should end. However, I will find out if any stock manipulation is involved,” the prime minister said.

Asked how investor confidence could be restored, the prime minister said no one should believe rumours and the media should stop reporting the issue, as it affected national security.

Finance Minister Sommai Phasee said the SET index fell mainly because of external factors and the lower oil price was affecting large oil companies in other countries and the SET.

He also said that the cabinet ordered the Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission to watch out for stock manipulators because they were active and would take advantage of buying opportunities when share prices fell.