The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is confident its strategies will help the stock market become a hub for fundraising and investment in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), convincing foreign companies to raise funds through Thai bond and stock markets.
The Thai market continues to benefit from Asia's growth, even as the world's major economies face a protracted slowdown, said Vorapol Socatiyanurak, the SEC's secretary-general.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand's (SET) growth has been driven by China, Japan, India, and Asean.
The SEC wants to step up its relationship and networking among the GMS. It will introduce new financial tools to be used by GMS members.
Recently the SEC allowed Thai firms investing overseas to raise funds from the SET by listing as holding companies or through infrastructure funds. The first company to do so is CK Power, which operates a hydropower plant in Laos. CK Power, a subsidiary of the SET-listed construction firm Ch. Karnchang, plans to list on the SET by the second quarter.
Several companies investing in China and Myanmar are also interested in raising funds from the SET.
Mr Vorapol said the SEC will invite Thai companies investing in Dawei to set up infrastructure funds as well. However, since infrastructure funds are a new product, the SEC will consider each deal carefully, and the fund's founder must clarify its investment policy and assets to the public.
With the Asean Economic Community (AEC) set to take effect in 2016, infrastructure will be a significant growth area along with logistics, warehousing and retail markets, he said. Thailand's businesses could benefit from being the geographic centre of the region.
"The Thai capital market should take this opportunity to support regional growth by offering new financial tools to foreign companies for fundraising," said Mr Vorapol.
The SEC has four strategies for 2013, some of which were launched last year. The strategies include the "pride of province project" aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises in the provinces that were encouraged to list to increase their investor base through venture capital funds and private equity.
The second strategy is to develop a capital market master plan focusing on corporate governance, law enforcement, and self-disciplinary guidelines for corporations.
The SEC also wants to bolster market competitiveness by increasing facilities and flexibility to serve new financial products, including separate rules and regulations for complicated products.
Finally, the commission is looking for a compromise on high-frequency trading, which increases orders and trading speed but can cause wild market swings and damage confidence.
About the author
- Writer: Nuntawun Polkuamdee
Position: Business Reporter