The Nation



AEC Securities eyes inroads into neighbours

AEC Securities, listed broker No 38 which officially started operations this year, announced yesterday that it aimed to penetrate the equity markets in neighbouring countries by year-end. As a brand-new firm in the brokerage sector, its name was changed in order to reflect its Asean ambitions and the ultimate goal of becoming a leading Thai brokerage firm within the region in the near future.

In the middle of last year, Praphol Milindachinda, who is now chairman of AEC Securities, led 32 individuals in the finance industry to strike a takeover deal for 93.47 per cent of the equity of United Securities - an inactive brokerage house - from UOB Kay Hain Securities (Thailand) for almost Bt1 billion.

The brokerage then changed its name, from United Securities to AEC Securities.

Praphol, who was secretary to former commerce minister Porntiva Nakasai under the Abhisit Vejjajiva-led government for two years, hopes that the company's knowledge of international business and good connections will take AEC Securities - the holder of five securities business licences - smoothly into the fast-growth lane.

The company holds licences for securities brokerage, securities dealing, derivatives agency, investment advisory service, and securities underwriting.

The company was also recently granted a further licence, for the operation of a non-brokerage private-fund business, which Praphol said would generate income to compensate for sales from brokerage activities, which offer narrowing margins.

AEC Securities expects to see its brokerage business climb into the top three by market share, enjoying 4-5 per cent of the Thai market, he said, adding that by the end of this year, its brokerage market share would possibly rank the firm in the top 10.

Since its incorporation last year, the brokerage has reportedly headhunted many professionals from other players in the industry to meet its fast-expansion business goal.

As a result, it now has 140 staff in sales marketing, and seven in the investment-banking department.

"We started from ground zero, so we needed to recruit a lot of manpower," said Kobkiat Boontherawara, chief executive officer of AEC Securities.

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