Delfeld Looks to Thailand

12/31/2004 12:00 am EST

Focus:

Carlton Delfeld

Editor, The La Jolla Letter and Pacific Gains

Despite the devastation caused by the recent tsunami that impacted Thailand, closed-end fund expert Carl Delfeld of Chartwell Advisors remains comfortable with the Thai Fund as his top pick for 2005. Here, he offers his reasons for remaining bullish on the region.

"Our pick for top performing investment in 2005 is the Thai Fund (TF ASE). Thailand’s stock market, the Bangkok SET, is now trading at only 7.5 times earnings compared to 15 times for Malaysia, 14 times for Singapore, 17 times for the Philippines, and 26 times for Japan. After a stellar year in 2003, the Thai market had a tough year in 2004 and is now trading 21% below its 2004 high. 

"Flatter oil prices, a stronger currency, a backlog of public offerings, signs that overseas investors are returning, and the expected strengthening of the ruling party’s majority in the February 2005 general election all should help the market and release large infrastructure projects currently on hold. The tsunami that struck Asia and Thailand this past weekend is very unfortunate and will likely lead to some budgetary pressures. Despite this, I am sticking to my 2005 pick primarily because the Thai stock market is compelling on a valuation basis."

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