* Almost daily anti-government protests seen as a big drag
* Worries about economy remains plus delays in stimulus
* Foreign investor sentiment falls to 'very bearish zone'
* Policy interest rate seen steady at record low 0.5%
BANGKOK, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Investor confidence in
Thailand's stock market over the next three months hit a
five-month low, slipping into bearish territory, dented by
mounting anti-government protests, a capital market association
said on Monday.
Rising political turbulence is adding to pressure on a
government already struggling to revive an economy expected to
shrink by a record amount this year as the coronavirus pandemic
ravaged tourism and consumption.
The Federation of Thai Capital Market Organisations said its
August survey showed the investor confidence index (ICI) fell by
21% to 67.52 from the previous month.
"The domestic political situation was the biggest drag on
the Thai stock market," the federation's chairman, Paiboon
Nalinthrangkurn, told a briefing.
Foreign investor confidence "alarmingly dropped into the
very bearish zone", he said. "Politics have made the stock
market underperform others for two months, even as we have well
A big protest is planned on Sept. 19. Demonstrators have
called for the removal of the government of Prime Minister
Prayuth Chan-ocha, a new constitution and reforms of the
The Thai stock index has fallen by 19% so far this
year, with foreign investors dumping 261 billion baht ($8.34
billion) of shares - already close to a record 287 billion baht
sold in 2018.
Investors remained concerned about the economy plus delays
in economic measures to ease the virus impact, Paiboon said,
adding the government urgently needed to find a new finance
minister to rush to implement measures.
Banking executive Predee Daochai resigned on Sept. 1 after a
few weeks in office as the government rolls out billions of
dollars of stimulus packages.
A separate survey by the Thai Bond Market Association showed
the central bank may hold its benchmark rate at a
record low of 0.50% at its next meeting on Sept. 23, after
cutting it three times this year, said senior vice president
($1 = 31.3000 baht)
(Reporting by Satawasin Staporncharnchai and Orathai Sriring
Editing by Ed Davies)