Prayuth is not an idiot, he’s been in control of Thailand with his buddies for the past 9 years. Anyone in charge of a country for that long has to be one wily clever sob. But has this incredible intelligence translated into an amazing stock market performance for Thailand?

The clever folks here have conducted the most in-depth analysis in the history of the world in order to uncover this gem for you. Before we delve into the deepest depths of the analysis, this is the summary: SHIT.

  • In order to shorten this post, we shall use the following dates & acronyms, the Friday before the coup, 22 August 2014, Before Prayuth (“BPee”) and the latest date, 2 June 2023 (“NOW”).
  • All data was pulled from Bloomberg and based upon the SET Index Members at the time. Any mistakes in data is 1000% Bloomberg’s fault.

Here’s the wily facts:

  • The market capitalisation of the SET Index increased from THB 14 trn BPee, to THB 18.7 trn NOW!
  • The PE re-rated/expanded from 17x BPee to 20x NOW!
  • Wait this sounds really good, how could you say it was SHIT?

The low-down dirty facts:

SET Performance:

  • BPee: 1,556
  • NOW: 1,531
  • An amazing -1.6%

Currency Performance:

  • BPee: 31.94
  • NOW: 34.8
  • An amazing -8.2%

Thus that’s -10%…but what about this amazing total market capitalisation & PE re-rating?? Surely this means in the eyes of investors that he was amazing!?!?

And you could be right…however…

  • Total # of listed entities BPee: 514, NOW: 669
  • In 2022 & 2023 there were a total of 27 new listings w/ a combined mkt cap of THB 0.6 trn (you do your own homework to find the rest)


  • BPee – DELTA was a 13x PE stock, w/ a market cap of THB 77 bn back in 2014, NOW it’s a THB 1.2 trn mkt cap w/ a PE of 99x.
  • GULF wasn’t listed BPee, it was still a small little company with a few crony capitalist projects, NOW it’s a THB 0.5 trn mkt cap w/ several crony capitalist projects and owns ais (ADVANC, INTUCH)
  • Strip these two out and the PE of the SET Index NOW is 13.4x.
  • Strip these two out & the mkt cap is THB 16.9 trn.
  • Strip out DELTA and the sum of market caps of all names from 2014 (THB 14trn) is now THB 13.2 trn (-6%) – Note yes I did include the mergers of BJC, DTAC, HEMRAJ, BECL/BMCL etc.
  • The SET Index has thus de-rated from BPee to NOW from 17x to 13.4x. (-21%)

In Summary:

  • The market has dropped. (-1.6%)
  • The market cap excl DELTA has dropped. (-6%)
  • The currency has dropped. (-8.2%)
  • The market has de-rated (-21%)
  • Strip out the conundrum that is DELTA, the crony that is GULF and all new IPO’s, the total market cap is flat/down.
  • But in the history books of Thailand, he’ll go down as the longest serving PM who brought us smiles 🙂
  • That’s just shit.
  1. Perfect! Just another lost Decade in Thailand! Will it better in the Future? I lost any hope given the terrible Demographics in Thailand. So maybe another Decade sideways/ down with some Rally’s from Time to Tome that you MUST sell if not want to come back to 0 Profits in the underlying Asset again …

    • Rolling bubbles across a few names/asset classes is how I see this decade of the ’20s
      Every once in a while, we’ll find a good name or two. Quality companies still exist in this country. Unfortunately, the business sector is starting to look more and more like the Philippines, i.e. 10 families controlling 80% of the market cap (there) and dictating the macro and micro policies for the country.
      Thailand specifically – still benefits massively from the influx of migrant workers…Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar – this isn’t finishing anytime soon…

  2. Peter satrapa-binder

    But i’d think that the lower average PE now (discounting DELTA and GULF) is rather positive – time to buy selected items?

    Regarding the bad stock market performance, well 2 or so of those years had been lost because of covid.

  3. Great analysis Pon, sensed and wrote about this for some time, now we got the cold/hard facts. One thing not mentioned is the IPO fiasco, where Thai IPO”s are routinely overpriced -then speculated on the first few days, only to vanish & forgotten in little time. Nobody has done an analysis to my knowledge on how Thai IPO’s have fared, overall, say 3, 6, 12 months later…or 2 years later. As is provided by brokers or stock exchanges in most other markets. This would further show detrimental returns, I am convinced.

    • Yes, rather accurate for at least 3/4 of new IPOs, but they won’t show this research, because why would they ruin their own game? And it’s too much work to do…
      And frankly, I love it. I want that human greed to remain in the capital markets, otherwise we will never find alpha generating opportunities.

    • If You’re an Foreigner and they call you to Participate in an IPO it’s usually an bad sign 😉 Last Time they call me for BTG. Luckily I go out immediately so it was an small Loss . Most of the Hype IPOs i Never get any Piece as they keep it for themselves

  4. At the End it is like it is..Thai Market is overall an terrible Investment but an very good Place for Speculation!
    Even better in the past then now for Short Term Speculation.

    My Guess is even that the sleepy Market with an overall Downtrend for most small and Mid Caps is an direct Result of the Bitcoin/ Crypto Boom . Here in my Neighborhood / Friends most of People that I know who play before simply give up on Thai Stocks and the speculative Guys move to Crypto . Given the very poor Performance of Thai Stocks it’s understandable.

    While in the US it seems the Techs go already to another Bull Run and the Index is up Tenfold we stay here for Decades in the Same Range . So beside the lackluster Performance it’s simply not an good Idea to put your Money in one of the Worst Markets in the Long Term.

    Again , I like Thai Stocks for an Swing Trade as they good to catch by Charts , but for Investment it’s an never ending Mess.
    If stay away from Small Caps and use the Charts for good Entry Points in the Big Caps it can be very Profitable. Just keep in mind always that this is not an Notmal Market 😉

  5. Yet, some small cap’s have been formidable performers over the years. This year TOG/AUCT shined. They seem removed from all the noise Christop rightly describes. Yes, BTG IPO was a real burn job, way overpriced by the IB gnomes. Pon is right about fun and mkt. irrationality which can create Alpha returns. The problem is the old wise saying “in time bad money drives out good” -and that is has been happening this year with Foreigners selling out long before the May elections.

    • peter satrapa-binder

      @ foreigners selling before the election: ok, this created opportunities to buy at low prices – and the foreigners may be buying back soon, at least if it transpires that a stable situation in thailand will be the result of these elections (which is, admittedly, still far from sure yet).

  6. Its a market of stocks here, more then a stock market! Expat investors for the most part deduce its all Thai stocks speculative and punted with low trust. Yet these same never get much beyond that “noise”, even while mostly true. There are companies here which run an honest biz, are smart and have a great niche….where the big shareholders are the company and have the most to loose if it goes amiss. But you would never know of them following the brokers, mass media Thai news or BKK post, or talking other mostly negative expats. As a result they are investor neglected stealth, but the silver lining is these often pay very high dividends, while having low p/e valuations -in addition being growth stocks. Shame on many seasoned here whom have missed these over many years; by not wanting to invest a bit to find out more so to discover them….beyond the rubble.

    • peter satrapa-binder

      you’re correct. one just has to invest some time and do his/her own research. don’t believe what the brokers hype as ‘flavour of the month’. there are definitely some good, stable and profitable companies out there which also do not only care for their main share holders/owners.

      also, this way you may be right or maybe be wrong, but at least you will know where any error in your calculation/speculation had been.

    • Agreed. I’ve done very well following this playbook in Thailand since 2004. But as the post shows it has been far more difficult in the past 8 years, until covid then opportunities came back. Next 8 years should be interesting.

      There have been great plays in addition to the TOG & AUCT that paul mentioned.

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