The Stock Exchange of Thailand gained 13.66% from the previous year’s close of 1,542.94 on the last trading day of 2017.
The index was also 0.02 points short of breaking the all-time record of 1,753.73 on Jan 4, 1994, nearly 24 years ago.
On Friday, the main index rose 10.42 points to 1,753.71 in trade worth 45.4 billion baht. The SET50 index gained 5.84 points to 1,135.14 while the MAI index for small companies climbed 1.01 to 540.37.
For the year, local institutions were net buyers of 103.63 billion baht worth of Thai shares, and net buying by brokers for proprietary trading totalled 16.74 billion baht.
Foreign investors were net sellers for the year of 25.75 billion baht, compared with net buying of 77.9 billion in 2016. Retail investors were net sellers of 94.6 billion baht.
The 2017 gain, while impressive, was modest compared with many Asean and Asian markets.
In Asia-Pacific, Hong Kong led with a 35.7% gain to a record 29,863.71, followed by India (27.1%), Philippines (25.1%), and New Zealand (22.2%)
Among Asean, Vietnam led with 48%, followed by the Philippines at 25.1% to a record-breaking 8,535.09, followed by Indonesia (19.2%), Singapore (18%), Thailand (13.7%), and Malaysia (8.4%).
Worldwide, the top five performers were Argentina (77.2%), Ukraine (71.3%), Kazakhstan (57.3%), Ghana (52.5%) and Vietnam (48%).
In the US, Nasdaq led with 29.1%, followed by Dow Jones (25.7%) and SP500 (20%).