Thai stocks are expected to edge higher on Friday, supported by continued foreign fund inflows and after a court ruled to give the go-ahead to most projects at Map Ta Phut, the country’s largest industrial estate, analysts said.
The court lifted a ban on Thursday on all but two of 76 industrial projects halted because of environmental concerns at Map Ta Phut in a long-awaited decision that could accelerate
In a decision that will likely be cheered by foreign investors, a Thai court Thursday ruled that nearly all the projects at Map Ta Phut industrial park can resume operations, despite environmental and health concerns.
The ruling, which will allow most of the $12 billion in new projects to move forward, could lift worries that Ford Motor Co. and others had expressed earlier that investment-friendly Thailand is becoming a more difficult place to do business. Thailand faced increasing skepticism following the court decision last year that halted the projects, as well as concerns about stability following political turmoil earlier this year.
A Thai court ruled that most of the 76 industrial projects halted last year because of pollution and licensing concerns can be restarted, a decision that may resolve uncertainties about the nation’s investment regulations.
The Administrative Court will allow 74 of the projects to proceed, Banyat Wisuddhimark, the senior state attorney, said after the ruling in Bangkok today. It revoked operating licenses for two projects that are included on a government list of “harmful activities,” he said.
Bangkok Post: Most Map Ta Phut projects off hook
The Administrative Court has ordered the operating permits of only two industrial projects in the Map Ta Phut area to be terminated, allowing 74 other earlier-suspended projects to go ahead.
The court on Thursday handed down its ruling in the case filed by Map Ta Phut villagers and the Stop Global Warming Association against eight state agencies in June last year.
The court spent almost three hours reading the 116-page verdict, while about 300 Map Ta Phut residents gathered in the court’s compound to listen to the much-awaited ruling.
Villagers affected by industrial pollution reacted emotionally to the verdict, which many considered as a defeat.