Fast approaching is the last month of 2022, a year in which Thailand’s economy has bottomed out following the years-long impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In principle, the economic recovery should be a supporting factor for investment in risk assets. In fact, however, overall investment has proven quite volatile this year, especially in high-risk assets like cryptocurrencies. This has also impacted related players in the ecosystem such as platform providers or large brokerage companies.
Thai investors seeking to invest in risk assets seemed to feel the impact as well. This is reflected in the frequency of searches for keywords and phrases such as “Bitcoin”, “invest in stocks” and “mutual funds”, all of which decreased respectively. Meanwhile, the key phrase “deposits offering high interest rates in 2022” has been searched increasingly. In addition, debentures of the private sector have gained in interest among investors, in line with the higher volume of corporate debentures issued this year.
Business operators in the Thai capital market and digital asset market have also been affected by a decline in transactions conducted by domestic investors. The mutual fund industry registered a decrease in total net asset value. Brokerage firms in the Thai stock market saw a decline in net profits during the first six months of this year, and the average trading turnover of retail investors was down from the previous year. Meanwhile, the digital asset market has become less active, as seen in a drop in market turnover of retail investors since May 2022 at the onset of negative news in foreign markets.
Considering 2022’s year-end lessons about speculative investment in cryptocurrencies, attention must be paid to business models, regulators’ supervision and governance of cryptocurrency itself, platforms or related business operators so as to avoid crypto fraud or losing investment money as in the cases in foreign countries. New investors should examine the 'value' of assets, study all relevant information, and regularly monitor and assess situations that may affect investment markets, not only for the first time, amid the rapidly changing environment in the digital era.