Mutual fund managers want more state support
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Mutual fund managers want more state support

Investors seek information and advice at a mutual fund fair. (File photo)
Investors seek information and advice at a mutual fund fair. (File photo)

The Association of Investment Management Companies (AIMC) is preparing to ask the government to provide support to the Thai mutual fund industry, citing efforts in Japan and India to boost the growth of their capital markets.

AIMC chairwoman Chavinda Hanratanakool said Japan and India outperformed most of their peers in Asia, as their bourses more than doubled over the past five years, particularly after the pandemic eased.

The AIMC recently held a brainstorming session to gather opinion from experts in relevant fields, aiming to determine what the industry needs to build confidence and grow sustainably.

"We want guidelines based on real international experience. We found the measures that caused the capital markets and mutual funds in Japan and India to grow the most are related to support from the government in four different areas," she said.

First is government measures to reform the economy and the holistic capital market, including monetary and fiscal policies, in addition to policies to promote investment and private consumption, capital market restructuring, as well as tax-related measures for savings.

Second, the government can support establishing a central digital infrastructure so the financial and investment sectors, small and medium-sized enterprises, and startups nationwide can use it for identity verification, said Mrs Chavinda.

This move will help reduce the cost of opening an account as well as transaction costs, she said.

"This allows investments to be quickly accessible to users, enhances safety and significantly reduce money laundering and investment fraud," said Mrs Chavinda.

Digitalisation should also be enhanced to expand the investor base to younger people living in the provinces, while the government should work with related agencies to improve the public's financial knowledge, she said.

The AIMC believes many of these measures can be applied to benefit Thailand, said Mrs Chavinda.

"We will present these as a guideline, in collaboration with agencies such as the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations, the Stock Exchange of Thailand and the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] to related government agencies," she said.

In a related development, the Capital Market Supervisory Board under the SEC has agreed in principle to allow asset management firms to launch mutual funds that can raise funds from retail, as well as investing in digital assets, including crypto and investment tokens.

The plan is subject to a public hearing because these are high-risk investments, the regulator said on Wednesday.

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