SET closer to shortlisting chief options

SET closer to shortlisting chief options

The Stock Exchange of Thailand board is expected to finalise the selection process for a new president by the end of this month.

At least four candidates hope to succeed Charamporn Jotikasthira as SET president, whose four-year term ends on May 31.

Two of the reported candidates are Chanitr Charnchainarong and Kesaree Manchusree, both SET executive vice-presidents. Mr Chanitr is currently head of the issuer and listing division, while Ms Kesara heads the market division.

Another strong candidate is Paiboon Nalinthrangkurn, chief executive of Tisco Securities and also chairman of the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations.

Market officials said the selection committee will interview each candidate about their vision for the future of the exchange before submitting a shortlist to the full board for a final decision.

Sathit Limpongpan, the SET chairman, said a formal vote may not be necessary if the 11-member board shows a clear preference for a particular candidate. He said the new president should show a clear vision about how to extend the SET beyond the region.

"Mr Charamporn completed his task very well, and has built a legacy for the market of having a strong information technology system. But the challenges for the next step have changed," he said, adding the SET is also gathering views on the future direction of the organisation.

The SET plans to launch operations for its new core IT system on May 6. Processing capacity for the new system will increase 10-fold from the current trading system to up to 16 million orders per day. Trading on the SET currently averages around 480,000 transactions, with peaks of up to 1.2 million.

Mr Sathit said the new platform will help prepare the market for future growth, including in the areas of programme trading, online trading and the development of new financial products.

The SET set a target of 210 billion baht in fundraising from initial public offerings for 2014. For the year to date, three listings have been completed, two on the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI) and one property fund.

Mr Chanitr said 15 companies are in the pipeline to schedule listings, with another 30 expressing interest in eventually joining the exchange, while 10 real estate investment trusts (REITs) or infrastructure funds could also list.

"Many property owners have begun to realise REITs offer certain advantages over property funds. Foreign investors favour REITs more due to their flexibility in investing in foreign assets and greater potential for portfolio diversification," he said.

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