New retail investors boost stock turnover to record high

BANGKOK: Thailand’s stock market has never been busier as a growing number of people join a global surge of individual traders chasing returns.

Average daily trading turnover jumped to 99 billion baht (US$3.3bil) this month through last Wednesday, set for a monthly record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Transactions by individuals this month made up about 46% of total trading, an increase from 43% in 2020, stock exchange data showed.

More Thais have been opening new trading accounts. While January data have yet to come out, the 88,720 new sign-ups in the October-December period marked a 310% jump from a year earlier, and a 23% surge from the previous quarter, according to the stock exchange.

The rising retail participation, part of a global trend during the pandemic, has contributed to a 45% rally in Thailand’s benchmark SET Index from its March low.

“Interesting data shows there have been a lot more new trader faces, especially among the young generation,” said Soraphol Tulayasathien, the Stock Exchange of Thailand’s senior executive vice president.

“There is still potential for the number of new individual traders to increase,” he said.

The entry of first-time stock buyers in South-East Asia’s second-biggest economy has helped offset the exit of foreign investors, who sold a net US$177mil of shares this year after offloading US$8.3bil in 2020. ─ Bloomberg

The Star, 01 February 2021 (Monday)