SEC, SET mull admitting foreign firms

SEC, SET mull admitting foreign firms

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) is studying the feasibility of opening up the Thai stock market to listings from fully-owned foreign firms.

Both authorities are examining rules and regulations pertaining to foreign companies and if they can raise funds through the SET, and expect to see the first pilot company list in 2021.

SET president Pakorn Peetathawatchai said the rules and regulations that have been considered will include those related to the listed firm, and differences between the Thai bourse and those abroad.

Foreign businesses expected to list on the Thai exchange include holding companies, real estate investment trusts and infrastructure funds, which will be able to access fundraising on both the primary and secondary markets.

Mr Pakorn also said the SET plans to launch a new stock exchange to trade shares of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups to raise funds and facilitate exchange trading for venture capital and angel fund exiting.

This market will allow certain types of investors to enter and trade on the bourse such as institutional investors as the risk of investing in these smaller firms would be greater than mature ones listed on the SET.

The SME exchange is scheduled to open trading in the second to the third quarter of 2021, Mr Pakorn said.

SET subsidiary Live Fin Corp recently launched as an information centre for SMEs to grow their businesses and eventually access funds from the Thai capital markets.

The Live platform will include three phases: an education platform; a scaling up platform; and a fundraising and trading platform.

The education segment will include resources and training to help entrepreneurs develop business, finance, management and fundraising skills.

The scaling up platform will prepare SMEs for fundraising through exchanges by developing business structures, accounting standards, tax plannings and other necessary steps to list on capital markets.

The fundraising and trading platform will allow SMEs to list on the SME Exchange once it begins trading next year.

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