Some sectors boosted by digitalisation

Some sectors boosted by digitalisation

As the pandemic has driven businesses in many industries to accelerate digitalisation, the most attractive investment trends for the post-pandemic era are innovation, technology, digital health, smart logistics and environmental social governance (ESG), Pakorn Peetathawatchai, Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) president, said at the Thailand Focus 2021 virtual conference on Wednesday.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 erupted in early 2020, the adoption of digital technology has helped many firms adapt their operations to fit the changing economic environment in the new normal era and allowed them to better meet the needs of consumers whose behaviours have also drastically changed from the pre-Covid era.

Mr Pakorn said that in line with the changing demand for investments, the SET revised its listing rules two months ago to help new S-curve industries access more funds in the stock market.

In doing so, the SET has adopted the market cap listing rules which allow these companies to list on the bourse without having to provide a track record of profits which is required by the general listing rules.

The exchange has also pledged to provide more support to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) by setting up a trading platform specifically for SMEs in the near future.

Manpong Senanarong, the SET's executive vice-president, said under the new criteria of listing rules, many new S-curve companies are expected to be listed on the market later this year and next year.

In addition to Thai companies, the SET also plans to attract more foreign companies to list on the Thai exchange by adjusting the current listing rules for the foreign firms to be more facilitative and encourage Thai investors to invest more in global products by accelerating the development of global products on the SET platform.

At the present, Thai investors can invest in Vietnamese stocks and other foreign stocks through depository receipts, foreign stock indices such as S&P 500 Index and the Hang Seng Index through derivative warrants, and Chinese stock indices through China exchange traded funds.

The SET's senior vice-president Soraphol Tulayasathien said investment in ESG companies will be another strong trend in the post-Covid era, as these firms have proven their strength amid the pandemic crisis.

Companies with more transparent disclosure of information on human rights protection will be particularly more attractive than others in the future, he said.

Mr Soraphol said the Thai capital market had recorded a huge outflow of 263.15 billion baht last year and 105.4 billion baht on a year-to-date basis, as the Thai economy has been heavily impacted by the prolonged slump in tourism which contributed to a big portion of Thailand's GDP.

Representatives from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Health Ministry said Thailand should be able to achieve the vaccination target and create herd immunity in the country within this year.

If the target is achieved, Thailand can expect to attract 10 million tourists next year.

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