Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

ISRAELI STRIKE TAKES OUT GAZA POWER STATION AND ZHOU FALLS FROM GRACE

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

  • Deadly shelling strikes Gaza UN school

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Europe launches last resupply ship to space station

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Thai stocks dive nearly 5% amid concerns for king

Text by Thibault LIEURADE

Latest update : 2009-10-15

The Stock Exchange of Thailand suffered nearly a 5% loss by midday Thursday, bucking the upward momentum of bourses around the world, on rumours that the king’s health has taken a turn for the worse.

Thai markets continued to take a battering Thursday. By midday, Thailand’s SET (Stock Exchange of Thailand) index - the country’s main stock exchange - had fallen off by 5%.

This was preceded by a 2% drop Wednesday, which at the time was its biggest drop in two months. The Baht, the Thai currency, is now at its lowest point against the US dollar since June. The reason for all these woes? A rumour that the health of King Rama IX is in steady decline.
 
The 81-year-old monarch has no constitutional powers, he is, however, considered a central and unifying symbol in Thai society. The King has been in hospital since September 19.
 
Reassuring statements have been issued by the royal palace and the president of the SETs efforts to calm fears have done nothing to quell the rumours – or to resuscitate the market, for that matter.
 
“Foreign investors are continuing to sell their blue-chip stocks based on these very rumours,” said Pichai Lertsupongkit, vice president of Thanachart Securities, to AFP.

The demise of the king would profoundly affect the nation at every level. Sébastien Barbe of Calyon Bank, observed, “The foundations of Thai politics have been on shaky ground for the past four years, and the king played an essential role in lifting the nation out of political incertitude.”

Date created : 2009-10-15

COMMENT(S)