BANGKOK May 26 Thai stocks edged lower on
Monday as investors tried to assess political risk after a
military coup last week and looked for companies that could
benefit from likely economic stimulus measures or might suffer
under the new regime.
The benchmark SET index was down 0.48 percent at
1,390.10, after notching up a modest gain at the opening bell.
Shares in top energy firm PTT, by far the biggest
stock on the bourse, dropped more than 2 percent amid concerns
about more foreign selling of large-cap shares.
Investors were also cautious about possible reforms in the
energy sector and potential changes to the board of
"The worry is about the continuation of PTT's business
plan," said strategist Kiatkong Decho of CIMB (Thailand).
The stock market suffered a net foreign outflow of 6.6
billion baht ($202.5 million) on Friday, the day after the army
coup, extending foreign selling to $613 million since the army
declared martial law last Tuesday.
Local investors have generally been buyers, but brokers
advised them to avoid big-cap stocks, including shares in the
energy and banking sectors, as these tend to be key stocks in
portfolios of foreign investors.
"Investors should closely watch political progress and the
new economic plan ... We expect foreigners to slow net sales in
the Thai stock market," Maybank Kim Eng Securities wrote in a
Shares in building contractors 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.
The third-largest contractor Sino-Thai Engineering and
Construction Pcl was up almost 3 percent and
second-ranked Ch Karnchang Pcl nearly 4 percent.
Italian-Thai Development Pcl, the country's largest
construction firm, rose 1.1 percent even though the army has
summoned its president, Premchai Karnasuta, to appear before it
The baht was little changed, moving around 32.59
baht per dollar versus 32.60 on Friday.
Thai bond yields were higher, with bid yields on five-year
bonds at 3.05 percent versus 3.04 percent on Friday,
while 10-year yields rose to 3.56 percent from
Friday's 3.54 percent.
($1 = 32.5950 Thai Baht)
(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Additional reporting by
Khettiya Jittapong and Wilawan Pongpitak; Editing by Alan
Raybould and Jacqueline Wong)