Thailand’s New Retail Investors Boost Stock Turnover to Record

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 ($3.3 billion) this month through 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.

Thailand’s New Retail Investors Boost Stock Turnover to Record

The entry of first-time stock buyers in Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy has helped offset the exit of foreign investors, who sold a net $177 million of shares this year after offloading $8.3 billion in 2020.

Individual investors bought a net 16 billion baht of Thai stocks this year after purchasing net 217 billion baht in 2020, according to the exchange’s data.

Commissions from individual investors, who pay higher fees, are now exceeding those from funds for Thailand’s top brokerages such as KGI Securities (Thailand) Pcl and Maybank Kim Eng Securities (Thailand) Pcl.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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