Market Roundup 5 March 2024

Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,359.26 points, decreased 3.33 points or 0.24% with a trading value of 39.68 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market decreased in accordance with the regional markets. The drop was caused by the selloff of big-cap stocks with unique factors and the negative trend of inflation figures, which reflected a negative outlook from the Thai economy. Meanwhile, there were some bounces during the trading session as the market expected two interest rate cuts by the central bank in the second half of the year, conforming to the US Federal Reserve’s direction.

The analyst expected the market to bounce back tomorrow, while investors paid attention to the announcement from the Fed, including employment rates.


China’s Premier Li Keqiang stated at the National People’s Congress (NPC) on Tuesday that China as the world’s second largest economy will target economic growth in 2024 at around 5% by transforming its development model, curbing industrial overcapacity, defusing property sector risks, and cutting wasteful local government spending.

However, as COVID-19 caused the country to have structural difficulties and suffer a large amount of municipal debt, the government will need to deploy stronger stimulus, even though the target was similar to last year.

Premier Li Qiang stated that the government should be well prepared for worst-case scenarios while also emphasizing the need to push for improvement in the country’s growth model.

Meanwhile, the fact that there have not yet been concrete details on the changes caused investors to show disappointment, as some were hopeful for a bigger push from the government.


Thailand’s headline consumer price index (CPI) fell 0.77% in February from a year earlier, and also compared to a 1.11% year-on-year drop in the previous month, according to the data released by the commerce ministry on Tuesday.

The figure compared with an expectation for a drop of 0.8% for February in a Reuters poll. Meanwhile, the core CPI, which excludes the volatile food and energy prices, increased 0.43% year-on-year in February, compared to a forecast rise of 0.5%.

The Commerce Ministry added that the headline inflation is seen dropping further in March and should be around -0.7 to -0.8% in the first quarter of this year. Still, the falling inflation did not post a worrisome sign for the Thai economy.


Thailand reveals terms and conditions for the application to acquire the license of virtual banks, which will be applicable within the next six months after the enforcement of this decree, which is in the next 15 days, according to the guidance released on Tuesday by the Finance Ministry.

The aim to establish a virtual bank is to support SMEs, underserved and unserved people.

Applicants must demonstrate sufficient experience and resources to support the commercial banking business along with good governance, it said in a statement. After the submission period ends, the Thai central bank and the finance ministry will consider applications within nine months.

As of now, there are three big conglomerates that have expressed interest in applying for the license. Advanced Info Service Public Company Limited (SET: ADVANC),Krung Thai Public Company Limited (SET: KTB), PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited (SET: OR) and Gulf Energy Development Public Company Limited (SET: GULF) have joined hands to establish a new joint venture to enter the race.

Meanwhile, the Chearavanont Family’s CP Group, through its digital payment service unit TrueMoney, and a Chinese partner will establish another subsidiary to participate.

Lastly, SCB X Public Company Limited (SET: SCB) will join the Korean KakaoBank to form a consortium for the license as well.

The statement from the finance ministry also said that it will give the Bank of Thailand authorities to grant the licence for virtual banks at an appropriate number. Though it did not specify the exact number, the central bank has been so prudent on the establishment of virtual banks that it once stated that the license will be limited to only three.

Approved banks must prepare and begin operations of the virtual bank within one year, the statement said. Following this timeline, the expected commercial date of Thailand’s first virtual bank should be around June 2026.