By Stingray-this blog’s security analyst
Thailand is on a feverish pitch, based on the following considerations:
- Politics Moving Fast: The Thai Red Shirt, lead by Taksin against the current government, is planning several political activities-Thailand’s risk ranking is currently a little better than Burma’s ranking.
- Anti-Foreigners Heated Up: Thai academic says properties at key tourist areas are held mostly by foreign interest and that in 6 years Thais will start having to buy food from foreign own agricultural land in Thailand-no hard data given.
- Security Concern Heightened: Thailand is considering moving the big next ASEAN meet away from Phuket to Hua Hin as Thai security said they were worried about maintaining Phuket’s security-even with bout 30,000 security people were involved in maintaining security at the last ASEAN meet in Phuket-where several suspicious security issues came about. Terrorism in Thailand’s Deep South is highly active again.
- Budget Rushing Through: Thailand budget office said Thailand’s stimulus spending speed will increase through “Fast Track” approval with government e-auction process time cut from 3 months to 1 month-the government is in the process of injecting funds into the Thai economic system.
- Consumption and Investment on the Move: Thailand’s economics is moving fast-with higher electricity use, transportation prices under pressure to increase and foreign investments rising significantly in the past few years in both FDI and portfolio.
- Environment being Pushed Aside: Thailand’s environmental laws are being pushed aside-Thai FDI had been hampered by environmental laws.
- Rumors Hit: Rumors are hitting the market about higher industrial activity and falling jobless numbers-the rumors sees Thai exports up and Thai logistics activity up also.
- Banks Research Centers Releasing Optimistic Numbers: All negative numbers such a higher NPL are played down, and positive numbers like housing loan are being played up.
- Hype at Feverish Pitch: Un-documented positive tourism and consumers numbers release by government through media.
- Retail Trade War Explodes: Central, CP and foreign retail interest, all reports major expansion plans.
Speed vs Volatility?
The key question is can Thailand overall environment support such rapid speed-as Thailand’s risk profile is high?
“Thailand has been volitile for most of the past few years and I wonder can it supprt such a fast move and how sustainable is this current speed. The country had been kept on ice to cool volitility but now the government and business leaders appear ready to speed up things again,” said a foreign intelligent source, off record to this blog.
Reuters Caught Up in Hype?
Even Reuters, the globe’s most powerful press appeared to have caught the hype. It reports massive foreign FDI and portfolio investments in Thailand-even as industrial zone land sales have fallen massively this year and for the past 3 weeks, foreigners have reduced their stake in the Thai stock market.