Srettha tells Thai bourse to rebuild investor confidence after shady dealings


Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has instructed the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) to accelerate efforts to punish irregular share trading in order to restore confidence among foreign investors, a top official said on Tuesday.

Srettha gave the instruction in his capacity as finance minister, said Finance Ministry permanent secretary Lawan Saengsanit.

Srettha wanted to see the SET and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) quickly rebuild confidence among foreign investors in the stock market, Lawan added.

Srettha said that several cases of irregular stock trading had hit foreign investors’ confidence – especially because the two agencies had been slow to bring the wrongdoers to justice.

The PM wants transparency and a clear-cut timeframe of penalties for rulebreakers.

“Several cases [of irregular share dealing] have occurred and we must admit that the way they were dealt with was far from satisfactory,” said Lawan, without elaborating.

“This damaged confidence and foreign investors no longer want to stay. They are wondering how the market is being regulated and why such cases occurred.”

Srettha also wanted the SET to consider listing new products to support the government’s policy to make Thailand the region’s digital economy hub.

However, the prime minister wanted to see underwriters of initial public offerings (IPOs) work more efficiently, as the stock market had witnessed prices of recently floated stocks collapse as soon as they began trading.

The bid to boost confidence comes amid a massive outflow of investment that saw the SET contract 15.5% last year, with foreign outflows of 192 billion baht. The outflows have continued in the first two months of this year.