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8 Dec 2022

Econ Digest

Did the economic recovery really boost investment in risk assets in 2022?


        2022 is seen as the year in which Thailand’s economy has bottomed out after having been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic for several years. In principle, the economic recovery should be a supporting factor for investment in risk assets, but in reality, the investment environment has been quite volatile this year, especially for high-risk assets like cryptocurrencies. This market volatility has affected both a wide range of players and large brokerage companies.

        As for the impact on Thai investors, the enthusiasm for risk asset investment seemed to have decreased, as reflected by a decline in the frequency of searches for investment-related terms such as “Bitcoin” and “invest in stocks” via Google, while the search term for “deposits offering high interest rates in 2022” increased. Business operators in the Thai capital market and digital asset markets were also affected by a decline in transactions conducted by domestic investors. The mutual fund industry registered a decrease in total net asset value (NAV). Brokerage firms in the Thai stock market saw a decline in net profits during the first half of this year, and the trading turnover by retail investors was also down from the previous year. Meanwhile, the digital asset market has become less active, as seen in a drop in market turnover after negative news began to emerge from foreign markets in May 2022.

        Considering 2022’s year-end lessons learned regarding speculative investment in cryptocurrencies, attention must be paid to business models, regulators’ supervision and governance of cryptocurrency, platforms or related business operators so as to avoid crypto fraud or losing investment funds as in foreign cases. Novice investors should look for the 'value' of assets, study all relevant information, and regularly monitor and assess situations that may affect investment markets, not only when they first invest, amid the rapidly changing environment in the digital era.

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