The Social Security Office's (SSO) planned 18-billion-baht foreign investment scheme is facing some legal hurdles.
Somkiat Chayasriwong, permanent secretary for labour and SSO board chairman, said yesterday the investment scheme still has several legal obstacles to pass through.
The SSO board recently approved a proposal by the office's investment sub-committee seeking 18 billion baht to invest abroad. It is hoped the overseas investments will make the Social Security Fund (SSF) more secure.
The board has agreed to appoint Thanachart Asset Management to jointly manage the investments with three other foreign investment firms. But the investment contracts still require approval from the Finance Ministry, and money must be placed as surety by Thanachart and the three other firms, Mr Somkiat said. Guarantee money is not required when a private firm is hired to manage a domestic investment, but it is for international investments such as this.
The SSO will seek advice from the Office of the Attorney-General about contract details, and the Comptroller Department about the surety, he said.
The SSO will pay 600 million baht to Thanachart to manage its foreign investments. It has given Thanachart authority to directly sell or buy shares in stock markets.
The SSO will closely monitor the five-year investment to prevent unnecessary risks, Mr Somkiat said.
The SSO board will ask the investment sub-panel to accelerate its study on property investments in Macau. Mr Somkiat said Labour Minister Padermchai Sasomsap wants to help Thai workers in Macau gain access to cheap accommodation.
Property investments would also generate profits for the SSF, he said.
The SSF has accumulated assets worth more than 920 billion baht, making it the country's largest state fund, Mr Somkiat said. The fund currently covers 9.4 million subscribers nationwide, mostly private sector employees.