Thailand's negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP), which could involve opening up the financial service sector, has rattled Thai banks worried about their competitiveness relative to those in member countries, says Prasarn Trairatvorakul, the governor of the Bank of Thailand.
The central bank envisions a gradual opening up of the banking sector to foreign investors to strengthen the financial sector. Local banks are ready to comply with Basel III, a new international capital accord requiring existing minimum capital of 15%, up from 8.5% now, he said.
Mr Prasarn said Asean countries set a target for banking sector liberalisation by 2020, which is five years later than its framework for integration of trade and investment.
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