Asco urges analysis of smaller stocks

The Association of Securities Companies (Asco) wants analysts to cover more small stocks, as investors have no reliable source of information for making decisions about small share trading.

Chairwoman Pattera Dilokrungthirapop said Asco will begin gathering and providing information on 250 small and medium-sized enterprises to analysts at securities firms by next month.

She said the move is aimed at helping investors get more information.

"At least investors can learn the fundamentals, financial results and news of the stocks. Analysts have overlooked these stocks, resulting in a lack of information," said Mrs Pattera.

Asco has also advised the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) that listed firms should disclose more information to the public when share prices turn volatile.

"The listed companies just inform the SET they have no idea why the prices rise or fall, and that doesn't help us. We need them to disclose more information," the chairwoman said.

Asco is planning to increase the number of investment consultants. Out of 7,500 overall, about 3,000 are upcountry. Provincial business will be a focus of SET policy this year.

The bourse wants to expand the share of investors from provincial areas to 20% in three years from 17.5% now.

SET president Charamporn Jotikasthira said active investors from provincial areas showed rapid growth last year after aggressive promotion by the exchange.

As of the end of last year, overall securities trading accounts totalled nearly 800,000, of which 657,000 were in Bangkok and 140,000 were upcountry.

Total trade value was 15.8 trillion baht, with Bangkok orders accounting for more than 90%.

The SET is maintaining a positive growth outlook, driven by the upcoming Asean Economic Community and rising wealth in the provinces.

Investment fairs this year will exhibit in 10 provinces: Chon Buri, Chiang Rai, Songkhla, Surat Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Nakhon Ratchasima, Udon Thani, Phitsanulok, Khon Kaen and Chiang Mai.

The SET and the Thailand Futures Exchange will host the Money Expo, covering all types of products and introducing investment tools such as websites, e-learning and programme trading.

The SET's Young Generation initiative will teach younger people how to invest.

About the author

Writer: Nuntawun Polkuamdee
Position: Business Reporter