Foreign investors nervously wait while Southeast Asia’s second largest economy goes through a political standstill. Earlier this month, Thailand’s Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra was removed from office for abuse of power leaving the nation without a government. As a result, Thailand’s military instituted martial law, and stood prepared, waiting for the tightly-wound, delicate balance of peace that is still in place, to snap. The country has been able to avoid violence, but the new military junta has already put in place currency control, restricting transfers of currency out of Thailand. Many investors with money and businesses in Thailand are worried about an Argentine-style junta that may rule the country for years to come.
Those who are able to move their wealth out of Thailand are scrambling to do so. Kristie Kenney, U.S. ambassador to Thailand, reported that the political upheaval in Thailand may convince new investors to seek out other southeast countries. Bill Maldonado, chief investment officer at HSBC for Asia Pacific was reported saying "We're not putting clients' money at risk on our analysis of what we think is an unanalyzable situation." Foreign investors pulled approximately $6billion from Thailand in 2013. In the month of May alone, foreign investors have pulled $379 million out of the country.
Klueger & Stein, LLP has represented several clients with significant wealth in Thailand in the past week alone and assisted them in quickly moving funds out of Thailand and to safer havens. In some cases we have been able to assist clients in moving funds out of Thailand as quickly as in 48 hours. We work with our clients and help them select the best country and bank to move their money to, perform due diligence and then work to set up the new banking structure.