ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Infrastructure fund aims at capital stream
The fund would raise money from the public to construct and develop infrastructure projects to support Thailand's national economic development.
The fund's launch would come at a time when inflows of capital into emerging markets including Thailand are increasing, in response to the US Federal Reserve's decision to pump $600 billion into the struggling US economy over the next seven months.
Tapping some of that foreign capital could help the government reduce its budget deficit and borrowing needs, while investors would have another choice of debt instrument to generate returns.
The fund could be divided into several tranches featuring different levels of risk and return. As well, he said, diverting fund inflows to infrastructure projects would directly increase the production capacity of the industrial sector and also improve the country's overall efficiency and competitiveness.
Pichit Akrathit, president of MFC Asset Management, said the infrastructure fund could invest in both new and existing projects, with most of the investments long-term.
Currently, SEC regulations allow fund investments only in completed projects that are generating operating incomes, in order to protect investors from the risk associated with unfinished projects.
Sombat Narawuttichai, secretary-general of the Securities Analysts Association, said capital inflows from July to November were around 80 billion baht, and would continue to rise because of the continued weakness of the US dollar, even though the Thai stock market was now seen as fully valued.
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