FETCO to push for privatisation of state enterprises
The Federation of Thai Capital Market Organisations plans this year to urge the government to privatise state enterprises and extend the tax privileges for long-term equity funds (LTFs) and retirement mutual funds (RMFs) to stimulate investment during the stock market's up-cycle.Paiboon Nalinthrangkurn, chairman of Fetco, said yesterday that most of this year's major plans followed the existing plans for the development of capital markets and it would push them more.
The privatisation of state enterprises by selling their shares in the stock market would improve their efficiency while lessening the government's debt burden, said Paiboon, who is chief executive officer of Tisco Securities.
About four or five state enterprises are ready for privatisation.
Tax privileges for LTFs and RMFs are due to expire in 2016.
The government will be urged to support human-resource development by allowing companies to deduct research and development expenses on their tax returns, Paiboon said.
All of Fetco's recommendations will be forwarded to a meeting of the Thai Capital Market Development Committee, chaired by Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong.
Fetco is also concerned about the impact of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act on the capital and money markets and insurance business.
The Thai government should come up with measures to address this issue, Paiboon said.
"I have one and a half years remaining in my term. I will try to push for the development of the Thai capital markets.
"For fund-raising, companies will be encouraged to list on the stock exchange, which has 500 companies. That's very small, compared with 500,000-600,000 companies across the nation. Wealth distribution and the promotion of capital-market personnel are also in focus," he said.
To encourage more firms to list, Fetco will join forces with agencies to hold exhibitions and with the government to put on roadshows to attract foreign investors amid the stock market's uptrend.
In 2012, the SET Index surged 40 per cent, the second-best performance in the world after Turkey's 60-per-cent jump.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand is likely to be on the way to touching 1,700 points within two years, provided interest rates stay low across the world, global liquidity from |central banks' capital injections |stays high and no more risks pop up until the middle of 2014, Paiboon said.
"The existing risk is the rise of the SET Index. Last year, it increased about 40 per cent. From now on, it may rise gradually following economic growth, while there could be no impact from politics as investors are aware of Thailand's political problems."