Currently, Thailand is in the throes of political turmoil so serious, it is threatening the economic well-being of the country. But as the second-argest economy in Southeast Asia, it’s hard to ignore their potential. You can see these competing forces in play in Thailand’s exchange traded fund (ETF): up 92% on the year, but down 3% in April.
The turmoil plaguing Thailand has been the rise of the red shirt movement, which has been accused of trying to overthrow Thailand’s constitutional monarchy, reports Seth Mydans for The New York Times. In April, red shirt protests led to 25 deaths and more than 800 injuries.
According to Mydans, the red shirt movement was built on the political base Thaksin Shinawatra, a former prime minister and telecom billionaire, created during his tenure. [An ETF for Singapore’s Soaring Growth.]
Because of the risk of political upheaval, Fitch downgraded Thailand’s long-term local currency rating from stable to negative, report Shamim Adam and Dan Ten Kate of BusinessWeek.
The downgrade “reflects an escalation in political uncertainty, coupled with a slow economic recovery and a deteriorating policy environment, all of which are expected to impact adversely on sovereign creditworthiness over time,” said Vincent Ho, associate director of Fitch’s Asia sovereign ratings team.