Bullish bets on Indian rupee Surge While Bets on Thai Baht Turn Sour
Bullish bets on the Indian rupee surge while bets on the Thai baht turn sour.Reuters

Investors have placed the largest bullish bets on the Indian rupee in more than two years in recent weeks, whereas bets on the Thai baht turned the most bearish in three months, amid political upheaval in both nations.

Sentiment on the rupee has risen to the most optimistic since February 2012 over the last two weeks, according to a Reuters survey of 12 currency analysts. The surge in upbeat sentiment follows a decisive election victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is largely viewed as pro-business.

By contrast, investors stacked up the most bearish short bets on the Thai baht in three months as the nation's prolonged political crisis has intensified.

For India, investors expect that business-friendly Prime Minister-Elect Narendra Modi will shepherd a stable government, which can revive economic growth from a decade's low.

Thai Crisis

In Thailand, army chief general Prayuth Chan-ocha has declared that the military is taking control of the country's government in a coup d'etat.

The military leader has said that the army will "restore order and push through political reform".

Earlier this week, the Thai military declared martial law to restore the security situation and shut down the country's main television stations, divesting the government of its power to maintain peace.

The baht and Thai stocks suffered declines after the army's move.

On 19 May, the Indian currency hit an 11-month high as strong foreign inflows buoyed domestic equities to record highs.

The partially convertible rupee closed at 58.59/60 to the US dollar on 19 May, after hitting 58.32 that day, its highest since 18 June, 2013. The rupee finished at 58.79/80 to the greenback on 16 May, the day India counted votes.

The Thai military action follows six months of violent protests between opponents and supporters of deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.