Thai bourse plans to allow foreign currencies for share trading settlement

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - The Thai stock exchange plans to allow foreign investors to settle share trading in foreign currencies as part of a move to boost foreign participations and trading activities of the overall stock market, the exchange's chairman said on Monday.

Foreign investors currently can only settle the share trading in Thai baht.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand wants to include U.S. dollar and Chinese yuan among its planned alternative settlement currencies, Sathit Limpongpan said.

The bourse would meet the Bank of Thailand this month to propose the plan, he said. "We want to start with leading currencies and expand in the next step to other currencies," he said.

Trading value by foreign investors accounted for 22-24 per cent of total this year compared with 21-22 percent a year earlier, stock exchange data showed.

Average trading value of the overall stock market was about 41.8 billion baht (S$1.64 billion) in 2015, similar to 41.6 billion baht in 2014 and lower than 48.1 billion baht in 2013.

Thailand's benchmark SET index had fallen more than 5 percent so far this year, among Asia's underperformers. Foreigners had offloaded shares worth a net 102.1 billion baht so far this year.