Pichai Chunhavajira announced as new Thai Finance Minister

The former Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) chairman has been appointed as the new finance minister, a move that has garnered a positive reception from stock market analysts. They believe Pichai Chunhavajira will play an active role in managing the capital market and advancing economic stimulus, now that the 2024 fiscal budget is prepared for allocation.

Expressing his view on the appointment, KGI Securities (Thailand) Senior Vice-President Rakpong Chaisuparakul anticipates Pichai’s significant involvement in the digital wallet stimulus scheme and the regulation of Thailand’s financial markets.

KGI’s head of research, Suchot Tirawannarat, also reacted positively towards the appointment.

“Pichai’s appointment has injected positive sentiment into the bourse. He is likely to implement policies that could enhance the oversight of short selling and program trading.”

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Pichai has a rich background in the financial sector. The 76 year old served as a board member of the Bank of Thailand from 2014 to 2017 and resigned as the chairman of the SET’s board of governors last week. He was previously appointed as an advisor to then Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin in September 2023 and ascended to the position of the 18th SET chairman in early February.

Digital wallet scheme

Asia Plus Securities (ASPS) sees the recent Cabinet reshuffle, particularly the appointments of the finance minister and the deputy finance minister, as a sign of the government’s intention to drive the 10,000-baht digital wallet scheme. The forthcoming digital wallet committee meeting will likely concentrate on the storage of handouts, funding sources, systems, and anti-corruption measures.

ASPS anticipates that the government’s move to expedite stimulus measures and investment budget disbursement will stimulate state spending and consumption through the 10,000-baht digital handout, thus enhancing GDP growth in the second half.

On April 26, the King approved the 2024 budget bill valued at 3.48 trillion baht, which includes an investment budget of 700 billion baht for the remaining five months of the fiscal year ending on Sept 30.

ASPS further commented that the government is anticipated to fast-track the disbursement of an investment budget totalling 1.6 trillion in the 17 months of the 2024-2025 fiscal year. The readiness of the 2024 budget for disbursement could spur the economy and stimulate a positive sentiment on the SET index.

Majority of domestic-play stocks, notably those in commerce like Berli Jucker (BJC), CP All (CPALL), Central Retail Corp (CRC) and Home Product Centre (HMPRO), as well as contractors and construction material firms Ch Karnchang (CK), Sino Thai Engineering and Construction (SETC), Siam Cement (SCC), Siam City Cement (SCCC) and TIPCO Asphalt (TASCO), are expected to reap significant benefits from this latest political development, reported Bangkok Post.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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