1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,557.71 points, decreased 3.44 points or 0.22% with a trading value of 47 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market moved narrowly as investors were waiting for the ECB meeting tonight and BOJ tomorrow. The fall in the Thai stock market today was cushioned by gains in DELTA as foreign flows continued to seek other markets. The analyst expected the SET Index to continue moving in a sideways trend tomorrow.
2) Morgan Stanley says Asia inflation has peaked, growth to outperform western countries
In a webinar on Tuesday, the investment bank’s Chief Asia Economist Chetan Ahya projected that Asia would have stronger growth rates than Western countries this year. Three of Asia’s largest economies; India, Indonesia, and Japan, are also seeing healthy domestic demand, and there is hope that China’s recovery will begin in the second half of this year.
“By the fourth quarter of this year, we think Asia’s growth will be outperforming the U.S. and Europe by about 450 basis points,” said Ahya.
Despite both economies experiencing the same inflationary crisis, there are slight differences with Asia’s inflation being ‘not as intense’ as in the United States and Europe due to the missing an interest rate shock.
Inflation in Asia has been almost half the rate of inflation in the other two areas.
“Asia’s inflation problem has not been as intense. And we think that region’s inflation has peaked,” he said. “By the time we are in September [or] October, 80% of [the] region’s countries would have seen inflation going back into central banks’ comfort zone.”
3) TikTok announces plan to invest billions of dollars in Southeast Asia
TikTok announced a plan to invest billions of dollars in Southeast Asia over the next few years as part of a strategy to double down on the region despite increasing worldwide criticism over its data security, Reuters reported on Thursday.
With a total population of 630 million, Southeast Asia is one of TikTok’s most populous regions. But with the established competitors like Sea’s Shopee, Alibaba’s Lazada, and GoTo’s Tokopedia, the platform has been unable to turn its massive user base into a significant income source in the region.
The CEO of the popular short-form video app TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, recently spoke at a session in Jakarta, Indonesia about the social and economic impact of the app, where he stated that the company would be investing billions of dollars in Indonesia and Southeast Asia over the next few years, as the platform gains more users and moves beyond advertising into e-commerce, allowing users to make purchases through the app during live streaming.
The investment plan comes at a time when some governments, including the US, the UK, and New Zealand, are scrutinizing a Chinese-owned application out of concern that Beijing may use it to gather user data or further its own interests.