Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Burkina Faso: Government seeks referendum

Read more

ENCORE!

All the fun of the FIAC: Contemporary art fair rolls into town

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Whistleblower James Wasserstrom slams UN over its failure to fight corruption

Read more

LIFESTYLES

New garden concepts

Read more

FOCUS

Indian uranium mines take heavy toll on locals and environment

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for Mexican president to resign gain traction

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Brazil: The battle for undecided voters

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Drugmakers to join forces in tackling Ebola

Read more

DEBATE

Rape as a weapon of war: How to stop impunity in eastern Congo? (part 2)

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)