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Business trends

Thai big business casts a wary eye on upcoming election

Ties to ruling junta could leave conglomerates exposed after poll

Thailand's first election in eight years is expected to boost spending in the short term. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

BANGKOK -- Thailand's first election in eight years will be a lavish affair, with nearly 100 political parties about to ramp up spending in search of votes ahead of the March 24 poll.

The upsurge in spending will give a short-term boost to hotels and restaurants, but the stakes are even higher for giant Thai conglomerates such as Charoen Pokphand and King Power. Both enjoy close ties to the ruling junta but will be keeping a wary eye on the election result.

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