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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        3  June  2011

Forex trade for securities firms approved

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The Bank of Thailand plans to allow securities companies to trade foreign exchange in the near future to improve their competitiveness in the region. Prasarn Trairatvorakul, the central bank governor, said foreign-exchange trade was now restricted to banks, but it had become a necessity for brokers whose client bases extended to the overseas market.

The central bank plans to issue foreign-exchange licences to qualified brokers with sound financial standing within two years.

Dr. Prasarn said the central bank also planned to allow the Thailand Futures Exchange (TFEX) to trade dollar/baht futures.

"The dollar/baht future will become a reasonable option for small and medium-sized enterprises as it has a relatively lower spread than other hedging products," he said.

Veerathai Santiprabhob, chief strategy officer at the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said the central bank would likely issue details about foreign-exchange for securities companies in the next two months. It would then conduct hearings with industry representatives in the fourth quarter.

Pattera Dilokrungthirapop, chairwoman of the Association of Securities Companies (Asco), welcomed the development, noting that the central bank already allowed brokers to invest in foreign assets.

"Foreign-exchange transactions and positions are necessary for us when we are connected to the global capital markets. No matter how we invest abroad for ourselves or for customers, those investment transactions cause us to have foreign-exchange positions," she said.

"We must able to [manage forex transactions] by ourselves. Otherwise, we will unable to compete with brokers in Singapore and Malaysia where they are allowed to offer forex services."

Ms. Pattera said the service would help enhance the long-term competitiveness of local brokers.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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