The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), the country’s national stock exchange is reportedly launching a blockchain-based marketplace for trading in startups later this year.
According to a report by the Bangkok Post, the blockchain-based marketplace will have no restrictions on trading units, allowing startups to gain access to funding from venture capital funds or angel investors. The Market for Alternative Investment (MAI), the stock exchange that serves smaller companies and startups, only allows for trading in board lots, or units of 100. The same restrictions are also seen in the SET and blockchain technology will put an end to them altogether.
SET president Kesara Manchusree further revealed that participation among the newly developing marketplace will only be extended to institutional and high-net-worth investors.
While the marketplace will launch to benefit startups, it can be expected to extend to include small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) trades at a later time, said SET senior vice president and marketing chief Santi Kiranand.
The executive added:
It will be a ‘marketplace’, not a miniature of the SET and MAI, where investors generally believe that securities traded are well-selected and regulated. As [the marketplace] is not a trading board, there is no regulator to verify their quality and investors must make investments by themselves.
According to a report by DealStreetAsia, the norms for the marketplace will be finalized next month. Kiranand further added that around 607 companies have registered with the SET after expressing interest in the blockchain marketplace.
Notably, the blockchain marketplace is the SET’s solution to a mandate by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak demanding the SET conjure a plan to help startups in the country. As new businesses, startups aren’t qualified to list on the stock market.
Pressing the SET into action, Jatusripitak stated in September 2016:
This issue is important and the SET should have a plan to help startups. They might create a new sector or bourse to serve these startups.
And so it came to be, with Thailand’s national stock exchange operator picking blockchain as the core infrastructure to benefit startups in the country.
Operated by the SET, the marketplace will have set certain qualifications for startups to adhere to, before raising funds. They include registration with the authorities, and operating with a single financial account while conducting business transparently.
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