Thailand to push ahead with capital flow relaxation
BANGKOK Oct 22 (Reuters) - Thailand is pushing ahead with measures to liberalise capital movements, such as allowing Thais to invest more easily in foreign securities, in order to nurture regional integration and foster balanced capital flows, the central bank said on Monday.
The foreign securities measure, planned by the end of the year, goes hand in hand with moves by the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to integrate their economies.
Earlier this month, the stock markets of Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia allowed authorised brokers to deal directly in shares in all three countries. Before, brokers needed to work through a local counterpart in the foreign market.
Thailand has been relaxing rules on outward capital investment for some years, one aim being to take upward pressure off the baht. Its rise stalled as the dollar rallied in 2011 but the Thai currency has risen about 2.7 percent so far in 2012.
New regulations due by next week will let listed companies invest directly in securities and derivatives abroad and let Thai residents invest in foreign-currency bonds offered in Thailand.
The Bank of Thailand is also recommending to the Finance Ministry that it remove the cap on outward direct investment by Thais, as well as limits on portfolio investment abroad, by early 2013. (Reporting by Alan Raybould; Editing by Richard Borsuk)
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