Cabinet yesterday gave approval in principle for the agricultural futures market to be merged with the futures market that relies on commodities and financial instruments - in a bid to help accommodate investors.
The merger is part of a plan to boost the capital market by increasing its competitiveness – and it could partly help to shore up rubber prices via the futures-market mechanism when the price tumbles.
The two futures markets are Thailand Futures Exchange (TFEX) and the Agricultural Futures Exchange of Thailand (AFET).
TFEX is currently supervised by the Stock Exchange of Thailand, while AFET is managed by the Commerce Ministry. After the merger is completed, the TFEX is likely to be supervised by the SET.
Afterwards, regulations for the two futures markets will be amended to comply with the new merged entity, Deputy Government Spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said.
Sansern said that at the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha also instructed the Finance Ministry to conduct a feasibility study on establishing a new rubber central market to help trading on the spot market. That would also facilitate paperless transactions between rubber farmers and buyers.
Cabinet also approved a 4-per-cent increase in allowances for government retirees and junior civil servants, as proposed by the Finance Ministry. Prayut said the approval was aimed at easing their living costs.
Earlier the Cabinet approved a 4-per-cent salary rise for 1.98 million state officials, which took effect on December 1. The increase will cost the state Bt22.9 billion per annum.
Cabinet also approved a budget of Bt4.72 billion for the Science and Technology Ministry’s 11 centres of excellence, so they can continue to operate for a further five years. The move was proposed by the Office of the Higher Education Commission.