Thai listed firms increase business diversification abroad

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Friday June 22, 2018 08:54
Bangkok--22 Jun--SET

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) reported that outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) of listed companies on SET and Market for Alternative Investment (mai) increased in 2017 from the previous year with 226 SET and 41 mai-listed firms. Not only did large-sized listed firms continue their outward foreign direct investment, but small firms also increasingly diversified their investment abroad. This reflects ability of Thai listed firms of all sizes to capture growth opportunity. ASEAN and CLMV were the most popular investment destination for Thai listed firms.

SET President Pakorn Peetathawatchai stated that listed firms on SET and mai have continuously progressed and expanded with outward foreign direct investment growth. ASEAN and CLMV countries were the regions in which they invested the most. More small-sized firms also expanded to overseas investment opportunities.

Thai Capital Market Research Institute has conducted a research on "2017 Outward Foreign Direct Investment of Thai Listed Firms", showing that 38 percent of Thai listed firms invested abroad, consisting of 226 SET-listed firms, up from 214 firms in 2016, and 41 mai-listed firms, up from 35 firms. Interestingly, there were 72 smaller firms in SET301+ undertaking OFDI, up from 57 firms in the previous year while mai-listed firms also increased their outbound investment (as of end-2017), showing that small-sized firms could adapt themselves well by using diversification strategies to invest abroad.

For SET, the net OFDI value of Thai listed firms in 2017 was down from the previous year to THB 127 billion (approx. USD 4 billion), mainly due to the decrease of the OFDI flow of SET50 companies, while the OFDI flow of SET301+ and mai increased. The listed companies on mai contributed to the OFDI at net value of THB 6.2 billion (Approx. USD 194 million). However, the increase of OFDI, outward foreign direct investment did not crowd out domestic investment as seen from the value of domestic investment from SET50 firms at 2.5-3.7 times of the foreign direct investment, during the past three consecutive years.

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