The SEC is seeking public comments on the draft amendments to the ongoing capital requirement rules, which are imposed on asset management companies.
The aim of the amendments would allow asset management business and investment unit brokerages to maintain ongoing capital at a ratio appropriate for their business in line with international standards.
Lower ongoing capital requirement would be permissible specifically for firms which only provide asset management services excluding asset custody to institutional investors with the aim of “levelling the playing field while maintaining an appropriate level of investor protection”.
Paul Gambles, managing partner of Bangkok based financial advisers MBMG, said: “We’re supportive of what SEC are trying to do and the way they’ve quickly ramped up expertise to do this – they’re not ahead of the game yet but they’re making huge strides and have probably made more progress than anyone else in Asia in the last few years.
“Allowing access to a much wider range of assets but protecting investors at the same time is a hard balance to strike. This is a sign that they’re getting it right and if they keep getting it right then that’s a very, very good sign.
“For us, (there is) no direct impact today, more that it cements our position over time – our niche is that we analyse the products and services of all the players but tend to find that the big players and the foreign players have the best expertise – really value added niches aren’t apparent yet in Thailand and the liberalisations enabling access to foreign expertise will probably mean that the real value in Thailand will be increasingly in what we do.”