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EC approval sought for appointments of BoI members

The Stock Exchange of Thailand has urged the caretaker government to seek the Election Commission's approval to appoint the new members of the Board of Investment, as the delay could frustrate both Thai and foreign investment.

The new government is expected to be formed quickly to drive the economy and restore investor confidence, SET chairman Sathit Limpongpan said yesterday.

Although the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order plans to disclose the names of 61 supporters of the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee, two of which are listed companies, investors have not yet questioned this issue or asked for clarification, he said.

Sathit believes the listed companies have to make explanations to their shareholders by themselves and they do not have to clarify the matter to the SET, as the centre has not announced the list yet.

Asean linkage

He also said the SET is gearing up to link Asean stock exchanges in the hope to become an investment centre to attract foreign investment, while indicating that investment here, which has been sluggish amid the political problems and economic slowdown, will make a rapid recovery if the political tensions ease, given Thai listed companies' robust fundamentals.

The Thai bourse plans this year to connect with other exchanges in the upper Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). This is in line with Asean Link, which also encourages linkages for exchanges in Asean countries, including Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The SET is already connected to its counterparts in Malaysia and Singapore and will attract more investors in other regions to join activities.

Based on the SET's business plan, the exchange will focus on expanding bases of listed companies and investors with quality to cope with higher uncertainty from domestic and foreign factors. It is ready to pass on investment opportunities among countries in the GMS for regional growth.

The Thai exchange also plans to reform capital markets by upgrading basic financial knowledge at all levels, developing bond markets to have easy access, developing financial instruments with gold bar reference and developing risk management tools for agricultural product prices.

This will improve Thai capital markets' stability and enhance the country's competitiveness. The new derivatives trading system is planned to start up by the middle of this year.


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