ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai stockbrokers brace for deregulation
Brokers who cut fees below operating costs could be accused of dumping prices for market share, and be subject to legal the courts.
Local brokers have collectively agreed not to dump commission fees in 2012 to avoid significant disruption to the market.
Brokers have long argued against plans by the Securities and Exchange Commission to deregulate the market, saying it would lead to massive losses across the sector and result in sharp cutbacks in services such as securities research or investor education programmes.
Commission fees have been declining since the beginning of the year, with trades worth more than 20 million baht per day effectively carrying a commission of zero for a number of brokers, and smaller trades subject to a sliding scale.
There is a real concern about whether "unfair" pricing practices would come into place once the market is fully liberalised, leading to competition that would ultimately hurt the industry's development as well as investors themselves.
According to Asco, the operating costs for the brokerage industry equate to commission rates of 0.15 percent to 0.17 percent.
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