What’s the top performing emerging market currency of the past month? While almost every other currency has fallen against the surging US dollar, the Hungarian forint has more than held its ground, strengthening by around 2 per cent since April 30.
That mightn’t sound like much. But, as Societe Generale says in a report on Friday, the HUF is one of only two EM currencies to have posted gains in the past month, along with the renminbi.
For Soc Gen, that’s a sell signal. But for others it’s a tribute to the recent goodish news about the Hungarian economy. Continue reading »
Thailand became the latest of several Asian countries to actively encourage the depreciation of its currency on Wednesday, continuing a trend that is likely to leave other regional economies with little choice but to follow.
Its central bank cut interest rates by 25 basis points from 2.75 per cent to 2.5 per cent a year, in an attempt to stem a rise in the baht, which hit a 16-year high last month. The Thai finance ministry is considering adding capital controls to the mix. Continue reading »
The top emerging stock markets over the past two years were the Philippines and Thailand. Denise Law, director of financial research at the FT’s newly launched Asean Confidential service, discusses with Long View columnist John Authers what’s driving southeast Asian stocks and what risks and opportunities lie ahead.
Just when Thailand’s corporate footprints in the global marketplace are gaining visibility with recent high-profile takeovers of foreign companies by local titans such as ThaiBev and CP Group, its largest-ever domestic takeover deal is generating the wrong kind of publicity.
Following some unusual share price movements, the Thai authorities have belatedly launched an investigation of CP All’s $6.6bn purchase of the cash-and-carry Siam Makro, 64-per-cent owned by Dutch conglomerate SHV Holdings.
Officials need to make sure the case is handled properly, given the country’s poor record with such investigations. If Thailand wants to join the big league of capital markets, alongside Hong Kong and Singapore, its financial regulators need a stiff upgrading. Continue reading »
It was one of those moments that investors and analysts in Thailand have been waiting for: insight into the government’s massive Bt2,000bn ($68bn) infrastructure spending plan.
But rather than a big press conference, it came in a little-publicised lunch talk by Chadchart Sittipunt, Thailand’s transport minister, to members of the Japan-Thailand Association last Friday. Continue reading »
Tens of millions of Thai baht worth of stock trades later, the shoe has finally dropped: the Stock Exchange of Thailand is launching a probe into share price movements of cash-and-carry retailer Siam Makro ahead of Monday’s $6.6bn takeover offer by CP All, the country’s biggest convenience store operator.
The biggest domestic M&A deal in Thai history – a $6.6bn takeover by convenience store giant CP All of Siam Makro, a cash-and-carry bulk retailer with just 62 outlets in Thailand – made headlines on Tuesday.
By any comparison, 2012 was a bumper year for new issues on the Thai stock market. Companies and property funds listing on Thailand’s bourse raised $1.8bn – the most since 2002.
With stock prices strong, investors can expect a lot more in 2013 – the Stock Exchange of Thailand forecasts that the market capitalisation of new listings will climb from Bt116bn ($4.03bn) in 2012 to Bt120bn ($4.2bn) Continue reading »
The baht has soared spreading consternation among exporters. But even in a country where exports are over 75 per cent of GDP, the picture isn’t as simple as it seems. First, currency isn’t the only determinant of export competitiveness in a world of complex trade flows. And second, there could be benefits to Thailand in the expected outflow of Japanese money seeking higher yields in emerging markets. Continue reading »
The Thai baht hit a 16-year record on Tuesday, appreciating another 0.8 per cent and falling below 29 to the dollar for the first time since the Asian financial crisis of 1997.
The baht touched 28.93 to the dollar at one point, before weakening to just over 29. It’s a worry for policy makers, who have seen the baht appreciate by over 5 per cent already this year alone, but who don’t seem to have a lot of options. Continue reading »