1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,619.01 points, decreased 1.27 points or 0.08% with a trading value of 66 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market edged lower following the regional markets in concerns of recession after the Fed and ECB hiked its interest rates. Still, tourism stocks cushioned the fall in SET Index in anticipation of China’s reopening.
2) Thai central bank sees economy recovering but faces many challenges
Thailand’s economy is still recovering, but policy priorities should ensure a sustained recovery, according to the country’s central bank chief on Friday.
Further rate hikes would be moderate and measured, but the central bank is willing to shift the pace if necessary, said the Bank of Thailand (BOT) governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput at a virtual business seminar.
He believes that aggressive rate hikes are unsuitable because the economy is still in its early stages of recovery and supply-driven inflation is receding.
The central bank forecasts the economy will expand 3.2% this year and 3.7% next year, with tourism and private consumption driving growth.
3) Maybank remains bullish on Thai retail sector on 2023 earnings growth outlook
The Thai economy has seen continued recovery since the country’s reopening, with significantly improved mobility and tourist arrivals, while inflation has slowed, improving consumer spending power; as a result, Maybank Securities (Thailand) (MST) maintains its positive view on the retail sector in 2023.
Maybank expects domestic consumption to expand throughout 2023, owing to a recovery in tourism and a government stimulus package, as well as the upcoming national election in May. Lower inflation also boosts consumer purchasing power.
After a solid recovery in 2022 during the re-opening, Maybank forecasts the retail sector SSSG to slow in 2023 but stay positive at 1-5% YoY. New shop openings and increased internet purchases will help drive retail sector revenues.
Maybank maintains its positive view on the retail sector and expects firms to deliver healthy earnings growth in 2023 on optimism SSSG, store expansion and increased profitability.
4) US narrowly dodges government shutdown after Senate approves one-week funding bill
The U.S. Senate on Thursday night approved a one-week extension of the current federal government funding, allowing lawmakers another week to negotiate and pass a comprehensive bill to fund federal agencies without a need for a partial government shutdown.
U.S. Senate passed 71 to 19 on Thursday to avert a shutdown similar to the 35-day shutdown of 2018–2019 when Donald Trump was the president.
The bill was passed by the U.S. House after the approval on Wednesday.