Thailand’s outdated insider trading laws spark outrage

Author: Brian Yap | Published: 7 Mar 2016

The investor backlash to one of Thailand’s highest-profile insider trading cases has intensified, following the government's failure to respond to calls for heftier fines to be imposed on the violator.

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) slapped a Bt33.3 million ($940,000) penalty on three senior executives from CP All, operator of the country's 7-Eleven convenience store franchise, last December for insider trading violations dating back to 2013.

But counsel in Thailand argue that the existing regime, namely section 241 of the Securities and Exchange Act, is antiquated with no explanation as to what activities constitute insider trading.   

"That leaves a lot of question marks for Thai individuals and corporates having to comply with the law on insider trading, [especially] because we don’t have the guidelines to refer to," said  Suparek Auychai, partner at Allen & Overy in Bangkok.