BANGKOK, January 11, 2024 – Amidst milder inflation since late 2023, major central banks’ more apparent views on easing monetary policy, and fading odds of severe recession in the US have tempted investors to back into risk assets such as bitcoin, stock markets in several countries and high-yield bonds. However, the Thai stock market provided lower return than its peers which cash in on fund inflows from falling bond yields and the US dollar pullback. Looking back at 2022, SET Index was one of few indices in the world that yielded positive return. If considered the period 2022-2023, SET Index moved in line with its regional peers.
Senior Executive Vice President of The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) Soraphol Tulayasathien said that there is a high chance of capital inflows to ASEAN, particularly the Thai stock market, underpinned by the stronger baht in medium term and optimism that the Thai economy will expand at the faster clip than forecast on the back of the recovery of tourism, exports and domestic consumption. Furthermore, analysts have raised SET’s earnings per share (EPS) growth and forward price to earnings ratio (P/E) in 2024 to the more attractive levels than last year while several industry groups are forecast to have high EPS growth but their valuations remain lower-than-the past average.
Key highlights for December
- At the end of December 2023, SET Index rose by 2.6 percent from the previous month but dropped 15.2 percent from the end of 2022 to close at 1,415.85 points.
- Industry groups that outperformed SET Index in 2023 were Technology, Financials, Agro and Food Industry, and Consumer Products.
- SET’s and Market for Alternative Investment (mai)’s average daily trading value in December 2023 fell 8 percent from a year earlier to THB 39.98 billion (approx. USD 1.15 billion). Both markets’ trading value averaged THB 53.33 billion a day for the entire year of 2023. Foreign investors turned to buy Thai shares with a net THB 70 million in December after the 10th consecutive month of net selling. For the whole year of 2023, their net sales amounted to THB 192.08 billion. Their trading ratio was higher than any other types of investors for 20 consecutive months.
- In December 2023, there were two newly SET-listed companies: Asia Network International pcl (ANI) and SCG Decor pcl (SCGD), and a newly mai-listed company: Miss Grand International pcl (MGI).
- The Thai stock exchange’s forward P/E ratio at the end of December 2023 was 16.7 times, above the Asian stock market’s average of 13.4 times. The historical P/E ratio stood at 19.4 times, exceeding the Asian stock market’s average of 15.0 times.
- Dividend yield ratio at the end of December 2023 was 3.21 percent, below the Asian stock market’s average of 3.28 percent.
- Thailand Futures Exchange (TFEX)’s daily trading volume in 2023 averaged 532,886 contracts, down 5.8 percent from the preceding year largely due to the lower trading volume of Single Stock Futures. SET50 Index Futures’ average daily trading volume in 2023 increased from a year before.