Special Report: Thai shares rise despite coup

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Despite the military seizure of power on May 22nd, Thai shares have been surging as the economy is becoming more and more stabilized and political situation seems to be improving.

On Monday May 26, shares in the building construction sector jumped more than 3 percent on expectations the military government would speed up disbursements for infrastructure projects that had been put on hold during months of political unrest. Among the gainers were Italian-Thai Development PCL, the country’s largest construction firm, which rose 0.5 percent even though the army summoned its president, Premchai Karnasuta, to appear on Monday.

On Tuesday May 27, the SET index rose 0.5% in the last four hours of the trading session. Commercial banks showed some recovery, while 7-Eleven operator, CP All PCL, gained 2.1%. Foreign investors sold shares worth 2.7 billion baht to domestic investors, pushing their net selling to 26 billion baht since the imposition of martial law on May 20th.

On Wednesday May 28, the SET index was up 1.1 percent at 1,407.44 points at midday, its highest since May 22. Shares of CP All PCL, Kasikorn Bank and Advanced Info Service were among the most actively-traded. At the end of the day, the index closed at 1402.7 points, an increase of 1% from the day before.

On Thursday May 29, Thai stocks extended gains as rice payments to farmers and government spending plans were expected to revive domestic consumption. The SET index rose 0.5 percent to 1,409.60 at midday, climbing at one point to 1,413.25, the highest since May 22nd, before capping the day off at 1,408.51 points, an increase of 5.72 points from Wednesday. Ch Karnchang and Advanced Info Service were among the gainers.

And again on Friday May 30, the Thai index climbed to its highest level in nearly a month, marking the fourth straight month of gains. The benchmark SET index ended up 0.5 percent at 1,415.73, the highest close since May 2nd. Net selling foreign investors, however, have been unloaded 33 billion baht worth of Thai shares since the imposition of martial law on May 20th.