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泰国证券交易所计划在年底前启动中小企业专属融资平台

今年年初泰国国家证券交易所曾宣布,将在今年推出一种基于区块链的交易市场,以加速交易效率,为创业公司发展提供便利。近日,在于曼谷举办的泰国创新活动峰会上,泰国科技部长Atchaka Sibunruang宣布,泰国国家证券交易所将在今年年底前启动名为“Live”的中小企业融资平台,任何在泰国境内注册的创业公司均可以通过该平台进行融资。Atchaka Sibunruang表示,创业公司不断发展所引领的科技创新是对于社会和经济的进步具有重要意义,也是决定泰国经济在未来能否更上一层楼的关键。

泰国证券交易所主席Kesara Manchusree认为,近年来,泰国的中小企业市场呈现出了井喷式发展的趋势,引发了大量的资本流动,为企业和投资者带来了巨额的收益。然而,资本流动也带来了通胀风险、流动性风险等一系列的潜在危机。“Live”平台的建立能够有效链接发行市场和流通市场,降低创业公司融资门槛,促进资本有效配置,满足更多创业公司的资本需求。同时,“Live”也能够为投资者提供更多的投资选择和市场退出策略。

据悉,“Live”将主要由LiveFin Corp.负责经营管理,平台99.99%的股份由泰国证券交易所拥有。此外,不同于主板市场和创业板市场的监管规则,泰国监管部门计划将在近期为“Live”制定全新的监管框架。

据泰国证券交易所发布的信息显示,“Live”将采用类似纳斯达克的场外交易形式。注册的创业公司可以进行公开发行等交易活动,投资者也可以参与到发行市场和流通市场的交易当中。其他诸如发行数量和价格等因素将完全依靠市场机制来决定,“Live”将为投资者和创业公司提供在线交流平台,由双方共同协商,决定证券发行细节。

在平台成立初期,有权参与交易的对象仅限于机构投资者和风险投资机构等获得授权的投资者。同时,年收入超过400万泰铢(11.7万美元)或总资产超过5000万泰铢(约147万美元)的高净值个人客户也有权参与交易。

国证券交易所企业发展部负责人Pongpiti Ektheinchai指出,与主板、创业板等传统的交易市场相比,“Live”平台所受到的监管无疑将相对宽松,有助于“Live”发展成为东南亚首家针对新兴市场的交易平台。

日益上涨的融资需求

近年来,泰国的创业公司数量不断上涨。据统计,2016年,泰国创业公司数量为700家,而这一数字有望在今年达到1500家,涨幅超过100%。在过去三年中,创业公司融资金额增长了近10倍。仅在2016年,创业公司融资金额就增长了8600万美元。

中小企业市场的井喷式发展带来了巨大的资本流动,而诸多大型金融机构看到了其中所蕴含的资本收益,纷纷成立相关投资部门,加大投资额度。以曼谷银行、泰国商业银行和开泰银行为代表的大型银行陆续成立风险投资基金,先后为金融科技企业拨款超过10亿泰铢(约3000万美元)。

同时,实体经济也表现出了对新兴金融模式浓厚的兴趣。泰国最大的工业集团暹罗水泥集团在上个月刚刚成立了风险投资基金AddVentures,以加大对区块链物流和B2B电子商务等新兴领域的投资。该集团表示,将在5年内通过AddVentures基金向创业公司提供25亿到30亿泰铢的投资。

缺乏优质的创业投资项目

尽管泰国国内出现了大量的创业公司,但在专业投资人看来,这些创业发展水平层次不齐,缺乏优质的投资项目。泰国电讯集团Intouch下属风险投资公司InVent的创始人Thanapong Na Ranong表示,目前,泰国国内融资短缺的情况正在得到有效改善,而随之暴露出来的问题就是,现阶段,国内缺乏优质的投资项目。他认为,创业公司所需要的并不是大量的资本,而是应该去寻找合格的天使投资人。天使投资人能够为创业公司在发展早期提供一定的资本,同时为企业的战略方针和组织结构的制定和调整提供指导,有助于企业在之后吸引风险投资。

Na Ranong强调称,目前泰国的创业公司需要来自国外先进的企业管理经验,而“Live”平台则助于于企业吸引外界资本的同时获得来自海外的前沿信息。

近年来,长期依赖劳动密集型产业的泰国正试图转向技术密集型经济转变。泰国政府和各界企业都在加大对创新型企业的扶植,以加速这一进程。泰国科技部长Atchaka Sibunruang在讲话中表示,世界正在经历着一个科技爆炸的时代,泰国需要不断调整经济结构以适应时代的趋势。在未来,创业公司将成为带动泰国经济发展的先驱,而科技的创新也将促进社会与经济的不断进步。

On the back of a booming startup scene, the Stock Exchange of Thailand announced Thursday that it will launch a new fundraising platform for startup enterprises by the end of the year.

Any startup registered in Thailand can raise funds on the new platform, which is called Live, starting from the day the startup is founded.

"We hope to improve the liquidity of the startup market in Thailand," SET President Kesara Manchusree told the Nikkei Asian Review, adding that with both primary and secondary trading, the new platform will make the capital market much easier to access for startups, while for investors, it will mean more options for their exit strategies. Live will be operated by LiveFin Corp., in which SET controls a 99.99% stake.

It will be different from a "regulated market" like the two existing ones under SET -- the SET main board and the small-cap MAI -- and will run under different rules.

It will be an online platform in which registered startups can launch public offering campaigns. Investors can apply to participate in the public offerings as well as trade existing shares with other investors. The volume and prices of shares, among other investment conditions, will be decided upon negotiation between the investor and the startup. Negotiation will be carried out via an online chat function provided by Live.

At the initial stages, trading will be limited to accredited investors such as institutional investors and venture capitals. High net worth individuals with annual income of more than 4 million baht ($117,000) or assets of more than 50 million baht will also be able to take part.

The trading platform for startups, which is operated by the stock exchange but has easier requirements compared to regulated markets, will be the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, noted Pongpiti Ektheinchai, the head of issuer and enterprise development at SET.

Increased funding

Thailand is seeing a surge in startups. The number of active startups is set to more than double this year to 1,500, compared to 700 last year. Startup funding has increased nearly tenfold over the past three years, with $86 million raised in 2016 alone.

Large companies are becoming increasingly eager to take part in the funding, especially for startups that are relevant to their own businesses.

Major banks, namely Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and Kasikornbank, for example, have recently set up venture capital funds to support fintech startups each with a total capital of 1 billion to 2 billion baht.

Meanwhile, Siam Cement?Group, the country's largest industrial conglomerate, is seeking to invest in new industrial technologies such as logistics and B2B e-commerce through its venture capital fund AddVentures. Set up in June, the fund is planning to spend 2.5 billion to 3 billion baht on startups in the next five years.

Lack of potential startups

However, despite all this funding power, the country lacks potential startups to invest in, according to Thanapong Na Ranong, the founder of Thailand's first corporate venture capital InVent, set up by telecom company Intouch Group. Currently heading the VC of Kasikornbank, Thanapong said the country needs to attract more angel investors who can invest and support startups at the very early stages prior to pitching for funding from formal VCs.

"We need cases of successful exits to attract angel investors," he told the Nikkei Asian Review. "In that sense, Live [the new SET platform] will be a vehicle to develop the country's startup scene."

Thailand, which has long relied on labor intensive industries, is trying to shift to a technology-driven economy. The government and businesses alike are hoping innovative startups will help the country move in that direction.

"We live in a world of technology disruption and we need to adapt to the changes by adjusting our economic structure for sustainable growth," Science and Technology Minister Atchaka Sibunruang said at a startup event that kicked off Thursday in Bangkok. "Startups will be our new economic warriors that will adopt technology and innovation to ... lead us out of the middle income trap."


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