SET eyes stronger supervision of firms

SET eyes stronger supervision of firms

Pakorn Peetathawatchai, president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand
Pakorn Peetathawatchai, president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) wants to reinforce the supervision of listed companies throughout the listing process and governance, starting from March 25, aiming to strengthen companies' financial position and ensure information disclosure for investors, says bourse president Pakorn Peetathawatchai.

"Investors would be equipped with clearer and more diverse warning signs to alert them when listed companies may face challenges related to their financial position and business operations, while additional clarifications could be disclosed," he said.

The bourse also wants to improve the qualifications for backdoor listings and resumption of stock trading to align with the rules for new listings, said Mr Pakorn. The amendments will take effect gradually, starting from March 25, he said.

"The SET continues to collaborate with the Securities and Exchange Commission on the study and review of amending various criteria, in line with appropriate and timely circumstances," said Mr Pakorn.

Four areas are expected to be revised. The first is the qualifications of companies listing on both SET and the Market for Alternative Investment. Starting next year, the bourse will increase the requirement for profits and shareholders' equity for companies listing on both exchanges, he said.

Second, the SET plans to introduce more warning signs for investors related to circumstances that may affect listed companies' financial position, operating performance or financial liquidity, such as continuous losses, default on payment to financial institutions or debt instruments.

The bourse also wants to add causes for delisting.

"If a listed company has no business operations for many years in a row or is unable to rectify the free float requirements within a specified period, we need to ensure the companies are suitable to be listed," said the SET.

The final change concerns strengthening the rules for backdoor listings and resumption of stock trading, to be on par with new listings. This is to ensure all listed companies are quality, no matter the listing channel, said Mr Pakorn.

Paveena Sriphothong, senior vice-president and head of market supervision for the SET, said the "C" mark placed on 19 companies would be replaced by a "CB" (caution business) mark. The number of marked companies is expected to spike to 50 after March 27, she said.

"Most of the companies marked C have financial problems," said Ms Paveena. "Adding a warning sign tells investors: 'you are investing in a company that is at risk of being delisted. You must use caution when investing'. "

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