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Deputy junta chief briefed on infrastructure funds

National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) deputy chief ACM Prajin Juntong was recently briefed on the benefits of infrastructure funds, touted as a fund-raising means to finance Thailand's massive infrastructure investment scheme.

At the briefing by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Prajin was told that currently three sizable infrastructure funds investing in rail transportation, electricity, and telecommunication have been set up and offered investment units to the public. Under the regulations, state enterprises can set up infrastructure funds, by selling future revenue rights to a fund, for example. This will help the state enterprises retain the title, management and control over the assets.

In doing so, feasibility studies and regulatory restrictions of the infrastructure projects must be prepared and explored with a view to assessing the project's commercial viability to create proper returns for investors. In this connection, interested authorities are welcomed to discuss and consult with the SEC. Currently, some state enterprises have already met with the SEC to discuss the possibility of setting up infrastructure funds for the country's infrastructure development.

"Using infrastructure funds to expedite development of the country will help reduce the government's budgetary burden and borrowing needs that could then be geared to other vital investments such as education and public healthcare. Meanwhile, investors will have an opportunity to take part in the country development and more long-term investment choices. The SEC thus backs fund mobilisation through capital market for infrastructure development, not only to bring about better living quality of Thai people but also to attain the utmost benefits from the upcoming Asean Economic Community (AEC)," SEC Secretary-General Vorapol Socatiyanurak said.


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