US-based BlackRock Inc, the world's largest asset management company, expressed interest in expanding its business in Thailand and investing in clean energy and the Thai Government's Sustainability Linked Bonds during a meeting with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.
The prospect of BlackRock, which has total assets of US$9.43 trillion (about 340 trillion baht) under its management, investing in Thailand's bio-circular-green (BCG) sector and giving Thai companies massive capital to expand and strengthen the country's economy was announced by government spokesman Chai Wacharonke.
He said the outcome of the meeting between Mr Srettha, who is attending the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) in New York, and BlackRock Inc CEO Larry Fink is good news for Thailand's efforts in addressing its economic problems.
BlackRock Inc's interests are in clean energy, such as wind and solar power and garbage recycling, he said, noting that the asset manager is also interested in SMEs in addition to large businesses.
He noted that businesses that promote the BCG model are different from traditional ones in that they require highly skilled workers and reduce the use of natural resources by half.
According to Mr Chai, the value of the Thai BCG sector is estimated at 3.44 trillion baht and is expected to increase to 4.4 trillion baht in the next year. There are more than 100 companies promoting the BCG economy that could benefit.
Mr Chai said the company is interested in investing in Sustainability Linked Bonds to be issued by the Thai government next year. The CEO of BlackRock also commended the Southeast Asian region as a high-potential region BlackRock plans to continue investing in.
A number of Thailand's large-scale funds, such as the Social Security Fund and Government Pension Fund, are also investing through BlackRock's Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).
BlackRock Inc's interest in investing in Thailand marks the prime minister's first success in drawing in foreign investors. Mr Srettha will discuss possible investment opportunities in Thailand in the upcoming meeting with the US-Asean Business Council (USABC), highlighting the country as a good investment base that can penetrate the Asean market, which has between 600-700 million people. He said the PM plans to push for an increase in direct foreign investment.
During his US visit, Mr Srettha is scheduled to meet executives of JP Morgan, Microsoft, Citibank, Estee Lauder, and Tesla, and one key agenda is to highlight Thailand's medical care services as a key strength in attracting more investors.