SET extends deadline due to few presidential applicants

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The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has delayed the application deadline for its presidential role until May 15, following a lack of applicants. The present president, Pakorn Peetathawatchai, is due to step down in September.

The SET chairman role also remains unfilled after Pichai Chunhavajira’s recent resignation. The exchange is seeking candidates who can support its vision of making the capital market accessible to all.

Commenting on the situation, Tisco Securities’ head of strategy research, Apichart Phubancherdkul, pointed out that the Thai stock market is currently facing major challenges. Despite high liquidity and strong stocks in the banking and energy sectors, it is not as attractive to investors as it used to be. Apichart noted that growing industries such as healthcare and tourism have limited weight within the SET’s market capitalisation. He suggested the introduction of investment-friendly policies to bolster the market and support long-term investments.

The SET chairman’s position will be filled by directors from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who will subsequently vote on the role.

Meanwhile, the head of research at Maybank Securities (Thailand), Chak Reungsinpinya, suggested that investors are adopting a cautious stance towards the Thai market as they wait for clearer indicators.

The Thai index has underperformed MSCI Asia ex-Japan by 5.7% to date this year, but there remains significant interest in exploring opportunities, with recent financial reports from banks and major corporates increasing investor curiosity, said Chak.

“Nobody wants to be the first to jump in, however, we think once budget disbursement accelerates and earnings improve from the second quarter, stocks from these sectors could outperform.”

Chak also highlighted banks, healthcare, and tourism as the sectors attracting the most interest, with many investors considering Thai banks as a proxy for both economic and market recovery. He stated that healthcare, with its long-term structural growth and medical tourism, remains a favourite sector for many investors, reported Bangkok Post.

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