Thai stocks tum­ble over king’s health

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE -

BANGKOK: Thai­land’s stock ex­change plunged yes­ter­day af­ter the palace said hos­pi­tal-bound King Bhu­mi­bol Adulyadej’s health was “not stable” in an up­date that has raised fears over the 88-year-old’s well-be­ing.

Bhu­mi­bol is the world’s longestreign­ing monarch and beloved by many in Thai­land.

But he has not been seen in pub­lic for nearly a year as he bat­tles a se­ries of ail­ments in a Bangkok hos­pi­tal.

His health is a taboo sub­ject, with palace of­fi­cials main­tain­ing tight con­trol on news while a dra­co­nian lese ma­jeste law makes pub­lic dis­cus­sion of or plan­ning for his suc­ces­sion all but im­pos­si­ble in­side the king­dom.

Pri­vately, many busi­ness lead­ers – both do­mes­tic and for­eign – fret that his demise could lead to eco­nomic in­sta­bil­ity, es­pe­cially as there is no of­fi­cial dis­cus­sion on how the coun­try will han­dle his pass­ing.

By lunchtime, stocks on Thai­land’s pri­mary bourse had plunged by 2.97%, its low­est level in nearly a month.

The baht also de­clined to a twom­onth low of 35.08 against the dol­lar mid morn­ing, a sixth con­sec­u­tive day of losses, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg data. – AFP

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