Thailand stock exchanges extend trading hours to attract foreign investors

Photo courtesy of Pornprom Satrabhaya

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI) announced an extension of their daily trading hours starting March 25. This move will see the afternoon session open half an hour earlier, thus facilitating five hours of trade on the two exchanges daily.

The SET stated that this alteration in trading hours is an effort to synchronise with other regional markets, thereby offering investors increased trading opportunities. The amended schedule allows for a pre-open afternoon session from 1.30pm to 2pm, and the afternoon session from 2pm to 4.30pm. The morning trading hours will stay the same, starting at 10am and ending at 12.30pm. A half-hour pre-open session will also be included from 9.30am to 10am.

In a similar vein, the Thailand Futures Exchange Plc (TFEX) is also extending its afternoon trading hours for equity futures, currency futures, and interest rate futures, beginning the session 30 minutes earlier. The afternoon session for interest rate futures on TFEX will now be between 1.45pm and 4pm. For equity futures and currency futures, the session will be from 1.45pm to 4.55pm.

This decision follows instructions from Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to analyse the pros and cons of extending exchange operating hours, to attract more foreign investor trading.

Mixed opinions have been expressed regarding these changes. Pawarisa Lertkijkhunanont, Deputy Head of Research at Asia Plus Securities (ASPS), is optimistic that the extended trading hours can increase the Thai exchange’s daily turnover to 50 billion baht with minimal downside risks to the SET, reported Bangkok Post.

Contrarily, Suwat Wattanapornprom, an analyst with Krungsri Capital Securities, believes the extension will have little impact unless there are changes to the Thai stock market’s fundamentals.

“The recent slump of the SET index was mainly caused by disappointing operating results from listed companies. If stocks on the Thai market are not attractive, we cannot attract more foreign investors even with extended trading hours.”

As per ASPS, Thailand remains the only Asian market to report foreign net selling so far this year, totalling US$881 million (approximately 31.6 billion baht). Meanwhile, the SET index has declined by 3.4% this year to date.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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