Foreign Holdings of Thai Stock Market Hit Record High07 Dec 2023
The value of foreign holdings of Thai shares as of August 2023 was measured at USD 168.05 billion (THB 5.87 trillion), driven mainly by price increases in some stocks and IPO stocks in new listings, according to the Stock Exchange of Thailand’s SET Note Vol. 16/2023. By percentage of market capitalization, the foreign holdings were 30.50 percent of total USD 551.39 billion (THB 19.26 trillion), slightly below 31.05 percent in May 2017. But its value hit a record high. The value of foreign ownership at the end of August 2023 showed an increase of USD 21.76 billion (THB 760 billion) or 14.95 percent from July 2022.If anything, the increase in foreign holding value is at odds with this year’s net outflows from the Thai stock market mainly stemmed from the US Federal Reserve (Fed)’s higher for longer policy and China’s stuttering economic recovery. This indicates that the sell-off largely comes from short-term investors while long-term investors’ appetite for Thai shares still prevails.In the period, some sectors managed to run against the tide: among all sector indices that showed positive gains were the Electronic Components sector, up 97.90 percent and the Banking sector, 12.61 percent. This matched foreign investment portfolios in which the Electronic Components, the Energy and Utilities, and the Banking sectors were the top three of their holding value. As shown by SET Note Vol. 16/2023, foreign ownership of Thai shares in these three sectors valued at USD 87.89 billion (THB 3.07 trillion) or 52.34 percent of total. Foreign ownership of Thai stock market was consolidated in three industry groups – the Technology, the Services and the Financials - to which these sectors belong. Foreign ownership in these three industry groups, valued at USD 116.81 billion (THB 4.08 trillion), or 69.40 percent of the total holding value at the end of August 2023, particularly that for the Technology that soared 67.07 percent to USD 55.25 billion (THB 1.93 trillion) in line with a 26.33 percent increase in the Industry Group index. Notably, the Services Industry Group moved up from the 4th place in the previous report, to the second with value of USD 31.21 billion (THB 1.09 trillion). The Financials, falling from the 2nd place, showed USD 30.35 billion (THB 1.06 trillion) of foreign holdings. That increased by USD 1.47 billion (THB 51.24 billion) or 5.09 percent against a 0.97 percent drop in the Industry Group index.Sector by sector, the Electronic Components enjoyed the largest chunk of foreign holdings, at USD 39.51 billion (THB 1.38 trillion) or 23.56 percent of total. Trailing behind were the Energy & Utilities and the Banking.The report showed that foreign investors owned all 41 constituents of the MSCI Thailand Index, with the combined amount of USD 126.54 billion (THB 4.42 trillion) or 75.2 percent of their total holding value at the end of August 2023. Foreign ownership value in the globally recognized benchmark’s constituents rose 19.70 percent from July 2022.Foreign investors also poured USD 1.99 billion (THB 69.53 billion) into IPO stocks allocated by 45 newly listed companies during April 2022 and March 2023. In the latest report, the UK remained on the top, holding shares worth USD 53.94 billion (THB 1.88 trillion) or 32.10 percent. Singapore maintained the 2nd place, while Hong Kong snatched the 3rd place from Switzerland which fell to the 4th place. The US and Japan maintained the 5th and 6th places. Others in the top 10 which constituted 96 percent of total foreign ownership were the Netherlands, Mauritius, Taiwan and France.Foreign investors are still here, waiting to hunt for good bets. *Note: Average USD/THB at 34.93 at the end of August 2023 according to data compiled by the Bank of Thailand Writer : The Stock Exchange of Thailand
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Thailand Intensifies Anti-Counterfeit Drive05 Dec 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai has announced a crackdown on the sale of counterfeit branded products online, highlighting the urgency to address the infringement of property rights, which could damage Thailand’s international reputation.According to Phumtham, the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) has been tasked with educating small and medium enterprises about patenting their products for protection against imitation. The agency also plans to promote more GI (geographical indication) products to leverage Thailand’s soft power globally.DIP Director-General Vuttikrai Leewiraphan detailed a forthcoming memorandum of understanding between 30 copyright owners and three leading online platforms - Lazada, Shopee, and TikTok Shop. The agreement is expected to enhance the fight against piracy, allowing direct reporting of infringements.The DIP is also collaborating with Facebook to develop tools for identifying and removing counterfeit products, aiming to address copyright violations on the platform. To date, 960 items violating copyrights have been removed from these platforms
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Cabinet Approves Tax Refund Scheme for Economic Boost05 Dec 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The government has announced a new tax refund scheme, the "Easy E-Receipt" program, to stimulate domestic spending and encourage the use of electronic invoices.According to the Ministry of Finance, individuals can claim a tax deduction of up to 50,000 baht for purchases made from businesses using the e-tax system from January 1 to February 15 next year. However, the rebate excludes expenditures on alcoholic beverages, tobacco, vehicles, and certain utilities and services.The program, part of the government’s economic stimulus measures, aims to boost the economy and persuade businesses to adopt the e-tax system. Business information on issuing electronic invoices and receipts is available on the Revenue Department’s website.During a cabinet meeting in Nong Bua Lamphu province this week, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin addressed various issues, including tourism development, land problems, and the fight against illegal drugs. The Premier also discussed the potential of Nong Bua Lamphu and four other provinces as tourism destinations while endorsing the promotion of high-quality OTOP products in each city.
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PM Expresses Hope for Tesla Investment in Thailand01 Dec 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Prime Minister of Thailand has expressed optimism regarding the potential investment by Tesla, the global leader in electric vehicles, in Thailand. This aspiration follows his recent tweet on social media platform X, where he mentioned a conversation with senior officials from Tesla. He revealed that over 2 million Cybertruck models have been pre-ordered, the highest for any Tesla model. The Prime Minister had the opportunity to experience the Cybertruck during a visit to Tesla’s factory. He concluded his tweet by expressing hope for Tesla’s assembly operations to commence soon in Thailand.This statement came after the Prime Minister’s visit to the United States for the APEC Summit earlier this month. Subsequently, Chai Wacharonke, the Government Spokesperson, clarified the Thai government’s efforts to attract Tesla to invest in Thailand. Chai said, since taking office, the Prime Minister has held two discussions with Tesla, the first being on September 20th, during the UNGA meeting in New York. These talks included a virtual meeting with Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, and other Tesla executives, focusing on clean energy initiatives. The Prime Minister is confident that the goals of the Thai government and Tesla align in prioritizing environmental sustainability for a better future. The Thai government is ready to support Tesla’s investment in the country and is hopeful for increased collaboration.
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Thailand Gears Up for 2026 IMF-World Bank Meetings29 Nov 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Thailand has been selected to host the prestigious 2026 annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, marking the country’s 2nd time hosting these major global financial conferences since 1991. The event is expected to attract over 12,000 participants, including global financial leaders from 190 countries. Various public and private sector committees are being formed to ensure comprehensive preparedness for the conferences, which are poised to serve as a vital platform for discussing global economic challenges and fostering collaborative financial and fiscal policies.Hosting the meetings presents a strategic opportunity for Thailand to enhance its global economic profile, particularly in tourism, and to showcase its cultural richness to a global audience. In conjunction with this event, the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) have launched a competition to design promotional and decorative materials that reflect Thai identity and international cooperation. This contest is open until January 14, 2024, with details available online.Organizers said the successful hosting of these meetings will leave a lasting positive impression on international visitors, promoting Thailand as a top destination for future global events and tourism.
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Finance Min Readies to Expedite National Policy to Resolve Unregulated Debt Issues29 Nov 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Ministry of Finance is taking proactive steps to address unregulated debt problems, aligning with national policy.Pornchai Thiravet, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance, said that the agency’s measures include coordinating with various agencies to comprehensively combat the problems of unregulated debt among citizens. These measures involve serious crackdowns on unregulated lenders, mediating unregulated debt disputes, and providing formal credit facilities. Specifically, the Ministry of Finance aims to transition unregulated debtors into the formal financial system to escape the debt trap.Krisada Chinavicharana, Deputy Minister of Finance, emphasized that state banks, including the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), continue offering loans to address unregulated debt. The Government Savings Bank’s project offers loans up to 50,000 baht at a fixed interest rate of 1% per month for a maximum of 5 years. Additionally, the Government Savings Bank provides loans for small independent professionals, with a maximum of 100,000 Baht at the same interest rate, repayable over a maximum of 8 years or 96 installments. The BAAC also offers loans to preserve land from mortgage and conditional sale, with a maximum amount of 2.5 million Baht per individual at an interest rate of 5% per annum, repayable over a maximum of 20 years.For unregulated creditors wishing to operate legally, the Ministry of Finance offers licensing for nano-finance businesses. Initial conditions for a nano-finance license include a registered capital of no less than 5 million Baht, loan limits of 50,000 Baht per debtor, and interest rates capped at 33% per annum with collateral, and 36% without collateral. For the upgraded Pico Plus license, the required registered capital is at least 10 million Baht, with a loan limit of 100,000 Baht per debtor. Loans exceeding 50,000 Baht can charge a maximum interest rate of 28% per annum. Nano-finance businesses are prohibited from accepting deposits from the public and can operate only within the licensed province.
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Govt, KrungThai Bank Unveil Retirement App for Self-Employed28 Nov 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Finance Ministry, in partnership with Krungthai Bank, has launched an app-based retirement savings service for self-employed workers through the Pao Tang digital wallet. The new feature, "AOMPLEARN," is designed for millions of Thai freelancers without pension plans, allowing them to automatically save a portion of their spending through the app. Savings are transferred to the National Saving Funds (NSF) program once they reach 50 baht.Targeting Thai citizens aged 15-60 who are not covered by social security, the initiative is part of Thailand’s response to its aging population. The service encourages users to save for retirement by deducting small amounts from their daily spending, helping to mitigate the issue of household incomes being lower than expenses.Krungthai Bank CEO Payong Srivanich noted that AOMPLEARN also aims to enhance financial literacy and supports the bank’s objective of developing a national digital platform for financial inclusivity. The effectiveness of AOMPLEARN will be evaluated through a six-month survey by the Fiscal Policy Research Institute Foundation, with findings used to broaden saving options and provide additional incentives to participants.
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Thai-Malaysian Leaders Discuss Border Cooperation28 Nov 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim have met at the Sadao border checkpoint in Songkhla province to discuss strengthening trade, tourism, and security ties. The meeting was a continuation of discussions from Srettha’s earlier visit to Malaysia.Accompanied by key ministers, the leaders focused on enhancing border developments to improve the lives of residents in the border areas. They reviewed progress on four joint task forces covering trade, tourism, agriculture, and security, which had been established during their previous meeting.Key discussions included increasing border and bilateral trade, with Srettha proposing a joint trade commission meeting and an MoU on cross-border goods transport. On tourism, Thailand has eased entry for Malaysian tourists, and Srettha urged a reciprocal MoU for Thai tourists. Anwar pledged to facilitate Thai tourist visits to Malaysia.In agriculture, the focus was on developing halal foods, in line with Thailand’s plan to set up a Halal Food Department. For border security, both sides plan to sign an MoU in February to combat wildlife and meat smuggling.The meeting concluded with plans to build a second bridge linking Narathiwat’s Sungai Kolok district to Malaysia and a connecting road from the Sadao border checkpoint to Malaysia’s Bukit checkpoint. After the talks, the prime ministers inspected the road construction site and attended a luncheon hosted by Srettha.
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SET joins hands with SGX Group to move forward the Thailand-Singapore DR Linkage project27 Nov 2023
BANGKOK (SET) - The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX Group) have further strengthened investment links, expanding opportunities for investors to access securities of both countries via depositary receipt (DR), under the collaborative project called Thailand-Singapore DR Linkage. SET President Pakorn Peetathawatchai said: “The Thailand-Singapore DR Linkage is the first exchange-level DR cooperation in ASEAN, facilitating Thai investors to access Singapore securities directly via Thai stock exchange in local currency using their existing trading accounts, and vice versa. This marks the first milestone in our journey towards a more integrated and accessible ASEAN exchange market, enabling investors to trade ASEAN stocks via DR seamlessly across the entire region. We will continue to foster bilateral relationships with other exchanges in ASEAN to support the development of DR linkage.” SGX Group Chief Executive Officer Loh Boon Chye said: “We are delighted that our DR Link with SET has successfully seen three SET-listed underlying DRs and one SGX-listed underlying DR introduced on SGX and SET respectively, with more to come in the pipeline. Collaboration between ASEAN exchanges amplifies the competitiveness of the region which is essential for its sustained growth. The DR Link is a significant milestone that reflects the commitment between SGX Group and SET to enhance synergies between our markets. I look forward to deepening our relationship with SET and unveiling more products through this link so we can unlock more opportunities for investors.” SET together with SGX Group commenced ASEAN’s first exchange-level DR cooperation in 2021. Under the collaboration, three DRs on Thai securities namely Airports of Thailand pcl (AOT), CP All pcl (CPALL), and PTT Exploration and Production pcl (PTTEP) have already been traded on SGX and, in turn, DR on Singapore Airlines Ltd. (SIA) debuted on the Thai stock market in September 2023. Moreover, the launch of additional DRs on Singaporean securities is on the pipeline. Currently, SET has 18 DRs with underlying securities listed on SGX, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) and the Euronext. Moreover, there are also five fractional depositary receipt (DRx). The total market capitalization of the DR and DRx at the end of the third quarter of 2023 amounted to THB 17 billion (approx. USD 484 million), an increase of a whopping 28 percent from the same period last year.
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