EXCLUSIVE: Thai exchange's international ambitions revealed

Author: Ashley Lee | Published: 21 Aug 2013
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  • TheStock Exchange of Thailand (SET) is set to boost its international profile withroadshows planned in the US, Middle East and Europe;
  • Theexchange is also looking to raise its profile with sovereign and pension fundsaround the world and become a connecting point for investors interested in the Aseanand regional issuers;
  • Itplans to work with developing exchanges in the Greater Mekong Subregion to helppromote and train investors and issuers about corporate governance and rulesand regulations.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) isworking to increase its profile both within Asia and around the world. Its headof corporate strategy spoke to IFLR  about its international plans.

Thailand has endured a rocky year; despitesome large deals – such as CP All’s record $6.6 billion acquisition ofconvenience store chain Siam Makro - the country has slipped into recession,with its gross domestic product (GDP) dropping 0.3% from the first to secondquarter.

Even so, the SET has remained active in introducingnew products into the market, including infrastructurefund IPOs to support much-needed projects, and realestate investment trust (Reit) listings. The first such Thai IPO isscheduled for the fourth quarter of 2013.

But Dr Pakron Peetathawatchai, theexchange’s executive vice president and corporate strategy and finance divisionhead, told IFLR it was also looking outwards to promote global investorinterest in Thailand.

"We’ve been holding roadshows so that Thaicompanies can attract investors in other continents, and have gone to the US,Europe and the Middle East," said Peetathawatchai. He added that the SET wasalso looking to markets, such as Scandinavia and the Middle East, to attractsovereign and pension funds.

Related links

The IPO to kick-start Thai infrastructure investment

  Asean’s integrated exchange to boost regional liquidity

  CGIF-wrapped bond to spark Asean local currency market

Asean hub

The exchange has also recently completed alot of roadshows in Singapore and Malaysia, leveraging off its membership ofthe AseanExchanges trading link, which connects the Singapore Exchange, BursaMalaysia and SET via a broker-to-broker arrangement.

Peetathawatchai said it hoped to develop asa hub for Southeast Asian issuers and investors. He explained that one of SET’sgoals was to focus on connecting investors – both those out of the country andinside Thailand – to reach investment opportunities regionally, such as inCambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

"We’re looking to how Thailand can become aconnection point in the region," he said. "That’s why we’re working with theGreater Mekong Subregion (GMS) exchanges to promote and train their investorsand companies about corporate governance, rules and regulations and investoreducation."

The exchange was informally involved in theestablishment of the Lao Securities Exchange. It is also thought to be involvedin some capacity with the formation of Myanmar’s securities regulatory regimeand the MyanmarStock Exchange, which is scheduled to open later this year.

Such activity is likely to continue. SET’splan is to collaborate with and promote the growth of the exchanges in theregion by focusing on its working relationships in the long term,Peetathawatchai said.

"We certainly want to be a promoter forthese regional exchanges," he said.

Related links

TheIPO to kick-start Thai infrastructure investment

  Asean’sintegrated exchange to boost regional liquidity

  CGIF-wrappedbond to spark Asean local currency market