Somkid orders SET to help startups with fundraising
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has been instructed to set up facilities to be sources of fundraising for startups, which are meant to be a new growth engine under Thailand 4.0, the initiative focused on technological development and innovation.
Somkid: Biotech sector emphasised
"Startups are new businesses not qualified to list on the stock market under current criteria. This issue is important and the SET should have a plan to help startups. They might create a new sector or bourse to serve these startups," said Somkid Jatusripitak, deputy prime minister, after a meeting with the SET, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federation of Thailand Capital Market Organizations.
The SET should come up with a plan to attract startups to list on a bourse, he said, singling out the biotech industry, one of the 10 targeted to be part of a government cluster.
Mr Somkid also urged the SET to use part of its capital funds to create seed money for crowdfunding or venture capital schemes, which are funding sources for startups.
The bourse should also act as a link between startups and banks, financial institutions and research networks when the former develops, he said.
In another development, the government plans to create new infrastructure funds to finance its multi-trillion-baht infrastructure projects, which are crucial to enhance Thailand as the hub of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. The funds will enable the country to become the fundraising hub of the sub-region.
"We are discussing how to create more infrastructure funds. The Finance Ministry is raising 100 billion baht [from the launch of Thailand Future Fund (TFF)], but it's certainly not enough. We need to raise sufficient funds to meet future infrastructure projects," said Mr Somkid.
The State Enterprise Policy Office recently said the forthcoming TFF is expected to launch an initial public offering early next year. The Finance Ministry said the fund will mobilise up to 100 billion baht to be invested in greenfield and brownfield infrastructure projects and will list on the SET.
SET president Kesara Manchusree said a roadshow for TFF is being planned.
The SET is also working to help startups through entrepreneurial training and venture capital funding, she said. The bourse plans to map out a plan to use capital funds to help startups, said Mrs Kesara.