SET launches overhaul of systems as trades increase
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SET launches overhaul of systems as trades increase

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has unveiled a three-year strategic plan focused on improving its trade monitoring system and enhancing the competitiveness of the Thai capital market as it seeks to handle an expected increase in stock trading this year.

The three-year plan aims for growth in businesses, industries, the capital market, society and the country in terms of greater opportunities, said SET president Pakorn Peetathawatchai.

To be implemented between 2023-2025, the plan comes amid rapid changes in technology, consumer behaviour, volatility of capital flows, and an uncertain economic recovery given high inflation and geopolitical risks.

"The SET places importance on boosting the Thai capital market's competitiveness and promoting sustainability in environmental, social and governance aspects, for the benefit of all parties," Mr Pakorn recently told a press briefing in Nan.

The organisation is preparing to extend trading hours for both the main bourse and the Thailand Futures Exchange, implement more stringent criteria for listing securities that will be effective in 2024, and operate the Digital Asset Exchange from the third quarter of this year.

"The SET is improving various processes to increase confidence and boost the efficiency of the Thai capital market," he said.

The exchange is also considering adjusting the data verification process, including revising the criteria for using important information such as stock holding information, and integrating contact information centres with the Securities and Exchange Commission in various areas such as credit bureau information that would make investor credit management more efficient.

Thirapun Sanpakit, senior executive vice-president and head of the IT division at the SET, said the new trading platform will comply with international standards to make it more convenient for foreign investors to enter.

In addition, it will increase disclosure of trading information by adjusting bid-offer disclosure to 10 bids and 10 offers, from five bids and five offers, to help investors make more informed decisions, he said.

There is also a system to prevent the matching of trades with each other, to prevent brokers with clients who share accounts from sending orders that match each other. This should support new market rules including improving the surveillance system that can be used to detect or intercept abnormal stock trading more effectively, said Mr Thirapun.

"The SET is in the process of testing the system with market participants," he said. "The original system has been in use for more than 10 years."

Nat Luengnaruemitchai, SET executive vice-president and head of IT operations, said the new system will make online trading more efficient.

The SET invests a lot in infrastructure so that securities companies that are SET members can connect and use the system.

Manpong Senanarong, senior executive vice-president and head of the issuer and listing division at SET, said more companies are preparing to raise funds through initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2023, both on the SET and the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI), than last year.

There are 14 companies in the process of filing a registration statement for listing on the SET, of which seven have been approved for stock offering. Roughly 2-3 large companies are believed to be preparing for IPOs, said Mr Manpong.

Prapan Charoenprawatt, executive vice-president of the SET and president of the MAI and LiVE Exchange, said 18 companies are in the pipeline to issue IPOs, with a total market capitalisation of 20 billion baht. Some 15 companies have submitted their filings, of which three have been approved for share offerings.

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