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UBS’s preferred investment choice is Southeast Asia’s underperforming stock market

Southeast Asia’s worst-performing stock market is UBS’s ‘top pick’

Southeast Asia’s worst-performing stock market is UBS’s ‘top pick’

Thailand’s tourism potential is causing optimism, but political headwinds could still be a game-changer, according to Kelvin Tay from UBS Global Wealth Management. While the country stands to benefit from China’s reopening and an expected tourism boost, outbound tourism from China has been limited, said Tay on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.” Tay added that Thailand must also reinvest in infrastructure and rebuild faster, as its plans to build up infrastructure on the eastern seaboard side via new ports and airports haven’t happened due to politics. Tay stated that Thailand’s elections are a “potential game changer,” as pro-democracy parties recently won a strong majority and called for reforms, including changing the monarchy’s defamation law. Thailand must also look to its labor force to drive growth, as the country’s fertility ratio and aging population are some of the worst globally, added Tay. Workers from neighboring Cambodia and Laos can be brought in to try to boost the labor force, but Thailand may have to change its immigration policy and provide migrants with a clear path to residency.

**FAQs**

**What is causing optimism about Thailand?**

Thailand’s tourism potential is causing optimism, as the country is expected to benefit from China’s reopening and an expected tourism boost.

**Why has outbound tourism from China been limited?**

Outbound tourism from China has been limited due to China’s employment numbers needing to go up first, said Kelvin Tay from UBS Global Wealth Management.

**What does Thailand need to do to rebuild faster?**

Thailand needs to reinvest in infrastructure and rebuild faster, as its plans to build up infrastructure on the eastern seaboard side via new ports and airports haven’t happened due to politics.

**What reforms have pro-democracy parties in Thailand called for?**

Pro-democracy parties in Thailand have called for reforms, including changing the monarchy’s defamation law.

**Why does Thailand need to look to its labor force to drive growth?**

Thailand’s fertility ratio and aging population are some of the worst globally, and workers from neighboring Cambodia and Laos can be brought in to try to boost the labor force. However, Thailand may have to change its immigration policy and provide migrants with a clear path to residency.

Southeast Asia’s worst-performing stock market is UBS’s ‘top pick’
Southeast Asia’s worst-performing stock market is UBS’s ‘top pick’

UBS chooses Southeast Asia’s weakest stock market as its “top pick”

Thailand’s tourism potential is high, but political challenges could still cause trouble for the industry, according to Kelvin Tay from UBS Global Wealth Management. Tay noted that while China’s reopening could benefit Thailand’s tourism, so far, outbound tourism from China has been low due to weak employment numbers. Additionally, Thailand needs to invest in infrastructure at a faster pace and reinvest on its eastern seaboard via new ports and airports. However, political instability remains a huge challenge, and Tay noted that the country has to “get…right.” Preliminary election results showed that Thailand’s opposition parties secured 99% of votes, leading to optimism. However, the leading Move Forward party will need to gain support from Senate members to form a new government. Tay also urged Thailand to improve its labor force, as it faces a low fertility ratio and aging population.

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