Looking Beyond Politics in Thailand

Dr. Mobius has been a long term investor in Thailand and almost always pops up with a commentary during times of turmoil here (which appears to be every 2 years ever since I begun working here in 2004).  In this piece he covers the infrastructure bill, Thailand’s economic resilience, and below is his comments on the resilience in tourism.


If the past is any indication, the impact on tourism of the recent protests could prove relatively short-lived. When Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra’s brother Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in 2006 in a military coup, there was little impact on tourism. And in 2013, Thailand welcomed a record number of visitors. So, if the demonstrations are having an impact, the overall picture doesn’t seem bleak at this time. MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index ranked Bangkok the world’s most-visited city in 2013, with nearly 16 million international visitors.3 Of course, if there is a great deal of violence there is no question that the impact will likely be felt this year. Nevertheless, our experience in Thailand through a great deal of political change and turmoil over the years indicates that the bedrock of Thai sensibility and practicality has eventually prevailed, and historically, when the turmoil has ended, it has generally been back to business as usual.

Source: Franklin Templeton

What happened this week 17/02 – 21/02


  • Taxes miss target during slowdown — Tax collection fell 3.8% short of target in the first four months of FY2014 due mainly to the tepid economy and effects from the political turbulence, says a Finance Ministry source. The ministry’s revenue figure is a fresh clue that the economy is faltering. (Bangkok Post, 14/02/14)
  • Ministry upbeat on budget dispersals – The Finance Ministry remains optimistic that state enterprises’ investment budgets can help shore up the stuttering economy even though the government cannot yet fully disburse it, says a senior ministry official. (Bangkok Post, 17/02/14)
  • GSB stunned by Bt30bn deposit run – The Government Savings Bank (GSB) has decided to suspend further lending to the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) after experiencing a Bt30bn deposit run amid concerns the loan is being used to pay for the loss-ridden rice-pledging scheme. (Bangkok Post, 18/02/14) Continue reading What happened this week 17/02 – 21/02

Stocks in the news (advanc, age, amata, cpall, delta, earth, ktb, ktc, siri) 21.02.14


PDRC targets AIS in anti-Shinawatra bid- The People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) kicked off its campaign yesterday targeting businesses believed to be owned by the Shinawatra family. PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban announced at a Silom Road rally it was necessary to “destroy” the Shinawatras’ funding sources and the group targeted Advanced Info Service (AIS), a leading mobile phone network operator. (Bangkok Post, 21/02/14)

Comment: As I posted yesterday, this is fairly ridiculous, Singtel/Temasek are the majority shareholders of ADVANC and INTUCH


AGE expects coal sales at 4mn tons in 2014. It will focus on overseas clients. Its 2013 net profit was reported at Bt95mn with sales of 2.4mn tons. (Khao Hoon, 21/02/14)

Comment: The company has struggled to maintain its targets over the past 2 years


No targets yet — AMATA says it has not yet set revenue and land sales targets for this year due to the political situation. However, it said that if politics calms down within 1H14, it is confident that total land sales will be higher than last year’s. It will go ahead and set up its REIT fund in June 2014 and said that it is currently undertaking a study on investment in industrial estates in Myanmar. (Khao Hoon, 21/02/14)

Comment: If this stock ever drops to single digits levels then we’ll be licking our lips Continue reading Stocks in the news (advanc, age, amata, cpall, delta, earth, ktb, ktc, siri) 21.02.14