SEC to boost recovery, beef up capital market
Measures seek to increase liquidity
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has set a strategic plan for 2021-2023, aiming to strengthen and accelerate economic recovery as well as improve the Thai capital market's resilience amid a volatile environment, says SEC secretary-general Ruenvadee Suvarnmongkol.
To help the economy recover, the SEC plans to launch measures to increase liquidity for businesses affected by the pandemic, said Ms Ruenvadee.
Among the measures is the SEC's plan to give small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups more access to security and debt financing through a crowdfunding ecosystem and secondary exchange for SMEs.
The SEC aims to enhance resilience of the capital market by promoting investment in environmental, social and governance (ESG) stocks and bonds, including implementing a requirement for ESG disclosure from issuers and ESG credit ratings.
In addition to support for economic recovery and resilience enhancement, the plan also maps out a mission to improve the financial well-being of people by providing financial and investment knowledge to the public to expand the investor base.
The mission to revamp the capital market is supported by two strategies, namely the revision of the regulatory framework to enhance its efficacy and the market's connectivity to foreign markets, and the establishment of a digital infrastructure for the capital market.
"We are making changes to the Securities Act, set to be reviewed by the SEC's committee in the third quarter. These amendments will facilitate the building of a digital infrastructure for the Thai capital market," Ms Ruenvadee said.
The SEC is also revising and tightening regulations pertaining to initial coin offerings to protect investors and prevent regulatory arbitrage.
Paiboon Nalinthrangkurn, chairman of the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations, said before setting up the new exchange for SMEs, the SEC should first set clearer criteria regarding the size of SMEs, and types of investors eligible to participate in the platform.
"Investment in SME and startup stocks poses higher risk than large companies. Such investment requires diversification and is more suitable for institutional investors than retail," he said.
Mr Paiboon said the SEC should aim to increase investors to 15 million people, from about 3 million at present, suggesting it is achievable as 65 million people currently have deposit accounts with banks.