PM unveils measures to boost Thailand’s ailing capital market


Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin outlined three key initiatives to revitalize Thailand’s struggling capital market on Thursday.

The measures aim to boost foreign investment while shifting the focus to sustainability and encouraging fund-raising by the private sector.

The SET has dropped about 15% this year, with foreign investors selling about 175 billion baht (US$4.93 billion) of Thai shares.

Addressing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s 2024 strategy seminar, Srettha acknowledged the downturn in Thai stock values but insisted the long-term picture remained bright.

“The Thai capital market is experiencing short-term challenges including a volatile global situation and [low] investor confidence, which have led to substantial declines in stock prices,” said the PM, who also serves as finance minister.

“But the fundamentals indicate the Thai stock market still has long-term strength and is highly flexible.”

Srettha announced the following three measures:

Boosting foreign investment:
– Speed up negotiations for free trade agreements in new markets.
– Enhance economic cooperation with Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
– Improve the ease of doing business in Thailand.
– Hold regular roadshows to attract foreign investors.

Shifting focus to sustainability:
– Encourage all stakeholders to contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
– Develop mechanisms for businesses to transition towards eco-friendly practices.
– Provide small businesses with access to knowledge and technology for sustainability.
– Issue at least 30 billion baht in “sustainability-linked bonds” for green projects.
– Develop a Thailand Green Taxonomy plan for environmental and social investments.

Encouraging private sector fund-raising:
– Focus on supporting SMEs and digital economy startups.
– Facilitate access to capital for business operations and overseas expansion.
– Establish the Thailand ESG Fund offering “green bonds” for investors.
– Aim to raise at least 10 billion baht through 25 Thai ESG mutual funds.

Srettha also emphasised that the capital market played a crucial role in aiding Thailand’s transition to a digital economy.