BANGKOK Oct 12 Thailand's main stock index fell
almost 3.0 percent to 3-1/2-month lows on Wednesday, a day after
police warned of a Bangkok bomb plot and on weekend news that
88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej's health was in an unstable
The Stock Exchange of Thailand fell by as much as
2.9 percent earlier, the lowest since June 24, led by shares in
the aviation and tourism industries. It was off 2.6 percent by
Tourism accounts for about 10 percent of Thailand's economy.
The tourism industry has weathered more than a decade of
political unrest including two military coups and a wave of
bombings in August that targeted tourist spots in the Thai
Police on Tuesday said they had increased security at major
landmarks in Bangkok following reports of fresh bomb
On Sunday, the palace said King Bhumibol is in an unstable
condition after receiving haemodialysis treatment.
News about the king is closely monitored in financial
markets in Thailand, where King Bhumibol is widely revered and
where he is seen as arbiter in politics.
The Thai baht fell to as low as 35.51 baht to the
dollar, the lowest in more than four months.
KGI Thailand Securities said in a note that Thai stocks
remain vulnerable to domestic concerns.
Thai stocks extended losses of 6.6 percent since Sunday.
The palace has not issued a statement on the king's health
since Sunday. The king's failing health and concerns about an
eventual succession have formed the backdrop to more than a
decade of unrest in the country.
"There has not been any news from the palace since Sunday.
If there is an information vacuum then the event risk would
increase," a Singapore-based economist, who declined to be
named, told Reuters.
"Global factors are also not supportive. If you look at most
equity markets in the region, people are selling off," he added.
(Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre, Wirat Buranakanokthanasan
and Pairat Temphairojana; Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre & Shri