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SEC backs retailers' role as paying agents

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) supports Thailand Post, Counter Service at 7-11, Tesco Lotus and other leading retail shops in their move to act as paying agents for investments in mutual funds by next month.

With branches across the country, the businesses will take the first steps in the capital market to facilitate more convenient investment access for investors.

The new paying channels will also serve the "A thousand baht, Start a journey to your dream" project, which has been initiated to raise public awareness about establishing investment discipline to achieve life goals by investing a minimum of Bt1,000 a month.

At this stage, the businesses will offer the service at all their branches. In the future, their services might include other capital market services, such as serving as a limited broker, dealer and underwriter, if they are able to meet the requirements for registered capital, staff and management and working systems.

Suchada Buddharuksa, executive vice president of Thailand Post Co Ltd, said: "Thailand Post is very pleased to participate in the 'A thousand baht, Start a journey to your dream' project.

"With our nationwide branches, along with over 130 years of experience in postal and financial businesses, Thailand Post's strength of having public familiarity and good relationships will serve us in our role as a paying agent service for investment in mutual funds and effectively support the government and the SEC policy."

Weeradej Ackapolpanich, assistant vice president of Counter Service Co Ltd, said: "Providing a paying agent service is social responsibility as it serves Thai people with more savings and investment channels. Moreover, it brings about opportunities for business development and creating business innovation with the SEC."

Sukiet Kittitammachote, senior manager corporate affairs of Ek-Chai Distribution System Co Ltd. or Tesco Lotus, said: "Tesco Lotus is very delighted to offer a paying agent service to investors intending to invest in mutual funds at 1,770 branches across the country with a fee of Bt7 per bill only.

"Tesco Lotus believes that this move into the capital market business will provide our customers with an even more comprehensive service."

By next month, the businesses will serve as paying agents during working hours for the internet trading clients of asset management companies, which they have formed a business alliance with.


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