SET undaunted by foreigners' net selling
THE STOCK EXCHANGE of Thailand sees no reason to be concerned over the unloading of Thai stocks by foreign investors, while expecting securities trading accounts to reach 1 million next year.
Kesara Manchusree, an executive vice president, said yesterday that foreign investors had retreated from the local bourse as they reallocated their assets across the region, and the market situation was still manageable.
Year to date, net foreign sales have reached Bt100 billion, less than the Bt160 billion in 2008 when total market capitalisation was not high as it is currently. If the global market situation improves, foreign investors will likely flock back to the Thai equity market, she said.
There has been a slowdown in new account openings since the SET Index started dropping last month. Despite this, the bourse still targets 70,000 new investors for the whole year. In the first half, there were 69,400 accounts of new investors, while new trading accounts totalled 102,000, beating the whole-year target of 96,600.
As of last month, trading accounts totalled 909,000 with an estimate to touch 910,000 by year-end.
If new accounts rise by 100,000, next year could be the first to see 1 million trading accounts.
There has also been a slight decline in active trading accounts. In the first half, active trading accounts accounted for 31 per cent of total trading accounts, but only 30 per cent in July.
"This year, the Thai stock market moved sideways in a range of 30-40 points from the global market uncertainties. Investors have to undertake risk management and diversification. Investing overseas is a means of risk management," Kesara said.
The SET, in collaboration with financial institutions, has conducted a study with a plan to launch depository receipts next year.
The SET is also planning to launch the Sustain Index for upgrading listed companies' corporate governance. It is searching for tools to help in the selection of companies for the index. Three parts are screened abroad - the environment, social responsibility and governance.
One more sector, property development, will be added to the board for clearer data comparison. Developers are currently included in the construction services sector.