Will Thai stock exchange’s transformation help it catch up with Singapore?
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Will Thai stock exchange’s transformation help it catch up with Singapore?

STOCK exchanges in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region are not all equal. Some, like Singapore and Hong Kong, are quite advanced in the way they’re organised. Others, like Thailand and Indonesia, are still playing catch up — at least when it comes to digital transformation.

Most recently, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) reviewed its plan to rejuvenate its infrastructure and found areas of significant improvement.

In its latest three-year plan, 2019-2021, the exchange has announced that it will focus on four key objectives:

  1. Development of a digital infrastructure platform
  2. Building a one-stop digital capital market
  3. Opening up new investment opportunities, and
  4. Leveling up investment experiences for more convenience and higher speed.

Of course, SET isn’t the only one in the region chasing digital transformation goals.

The Australian Stock Exchange (ASE), for example, is making remarkable progress. The ASE has recently boosted its cybersecurity measures and is exploring the use of blockchains to help optimise operations.

Exchanges in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Philippines are also taking steps to boost their digital infrastructure although some might argue that progress is slow.

What is SET’s digital transformation gameplan?

According to the new digital transformation roadmap, the SET expects to radically transform the market in the country in two areas.

The first one involves completely digitising the capital market infrastructure covering enhancements such as a paperless account opening process through electronic identification verification, electronic payment of stamp duty, and direct-debit registration.

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On the second front, SET has announced that it will work very closely and collectively with all stakeholders in the Thai capital market to build a new ecosystem.

As a result of its digitisation strategy, the SET expects to develop capabilities that provide market participants with support for digital assets and help create new opportunities to transform the investment landscape in the future.

SET’s mantra: Collaboration drives transformation

“SET strongly believes that the collaboration with all stakeholders in enhancing the existing infrastructures that are a backbone of the current ecosystem and in building the new digital asset ecosystem will be a turning point that will take the Thai capital market to the next level,” said SET President Pakorn Peetathawatchai.

When the SET mentions collaboration, it’s talking about its various stakeholders across the length and breadth of the country.

For example, SET’s plans to link its FundConnext mutual fund platform currently connected with 19 asset management firms in the country with Vestima, a global fund processing platform operated by Clearstream.

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Doing so will help FundConnext connect the Thai investment fund market to the global market by serving as a gateway for investors in 56 countries to capture new opportunities that were previously more difficult to access.

“SET stands ready to build and operate the capital market that is underpinned by trust,” explained Peetathawatchai.

Although SET’s 2019-2021 digital transformation strategy doesn’t explicitly mention any of the traditional buzzwords such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), the body’s willingness to collaborate might bring these into the fold seamlessly through tech-savvy partners and stakeholders.

From the looks of it, SET is all set to match the digital infrastructure benchmarks of the most advanced capital markets in the region and the world — provided implementation is flawless.

This article originally appeared on our sister site Tech Wire Asia