SET plans to lower number of this year’s new listed firms


The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has planned to reduce the target number of companies seeking initial public offerings (IPO) of shares both on the bourse and the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI) within this year.

According to SET president Patareeya Benjapolchai, the exchange had earlier set a target to draw 46 companies for the listing on both SET and MAI this year but the current unfavourable sentiment in the market is likely to bring down the number of IPO shares to be listed on SET.

However, Pattareeya said, the number of IPO shares to be listed on the MAI is expected to reach the target because many small firms want to raise funds despite the sluggish economy.

She predicted that at least 11 companies would have their IPO shares listed on MAI this year. The number is not outpaced by that of last year, despite the business climate.

At the same time, SET is poised to revise the average trading volume of shares set for this year to be at about 13.5 billion baht per day since stock investment had been quite volatile since January, causing the daily trading value to decline to an average of about 10 billion and drop to only about six billion baht in February.

Most investors seem to have adopted a wait-and-see attitude until the country’s economic conditions clearly improve, she added.

Meanwhile, most Thai securities analysts have lowered their estimates for the projected Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) composite index rising only to 495 points, instead of the 547 level as earlier projected, with the economic growth rate for this year dropping by 1.8 percent, down from the 0.7 percent contraction earlier foreseen.

Sombat Naravuthichai, secretary-general of the Securities Analysts Association (SAA), said the latest survey of opinions conducted with research specialists of 23 securities firms showed that a majority of 57 percent of the analysts expect the global economy to bottom out in the second half of this year while about 26 percent of them believe such situation will occur in the first half and about nine percent foresee it to happen next year.

On the other hand, he said, about 70 percent of the analysts has predicted that the global economy will recover next year while 17 percent said the world economy would turn around in the second half of this year and four percent see the world economy is likely to recover in 2011.

Regarding the Thai government’s economic stimulus measures, he said, most analysts agreed with the plans to invest in basic infrastructure and irrigation project but disagreed with the policy to hand out 2,000 baht for each worker.

The survey also showed that 39 percent of the analysts would like to advise the government to accelerate implementation of its investment projects and state spending, as well as to stimulate tourism and exports.

In addition, Sombat also disclosed that most analysts forecast the SET index will have an average of 495 points this year, down from the 547 level projected earlier, with the highest level likely to be achieved at 610 and the lowest at 350.

They see the economy shrinking by a significantly larger 1.8 per cent rate on average, contracting further from only 0.7 per cent expected previously, he added.