Thai MoF and SEC Urgently Discuss Termination of Program Trading

The Ministry of Finance ordered the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to consider canceling Robot Trading as an urgent matter. Meanwhile, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and investors in the field suggested the authorities to carefully assess the situation, adding that the cancellation of Robot Trading will bring both pros and cons, while expressing concerns that foreign investors could turn away from the Thai stock market, as the trade will lack flexibility.

As Mr. Kittiratt Na-Ranong, Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister, shared his opinion on Facebook stating “canceling Program Trading will be good”, there has been speculation that the message could be related to the downfall of Thai stock index on 13 December 2023 that the SET Index closed at 1,357 points, decreasing 15.95 points to the lowest level in three years. The lowered investor’s confidence in Thailand is also a part of concerns about Program Trading as well.

Mr. Krisada Chinavicharana, Deputy Minister of Finance proposed the cancellation of Robot Trading following Mr. Kittiratt Na-Ranong’s comment, stating Naked Short and Robot Trading had caused a negative impact on the confidence of investors, and the matter had been conferred with the Secretary-General of the SEC on 14 December 2023.

As of now, Thailand’s economy is constantly recovering with stability. The policy interest rate held by the Bank of Thailand gave a positive signal, and the financial institutions were strong despite the downturn of the stock market.

Regarding the cancellation of Robot Trading, Mr. Manpong Senanarong, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Issuer & Listing Division of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), gave his opinion that everything had pros and cons. The advantages and disadvantages of Robot Trading needed to be considered in order to conclude the necessity of cancellation. However, proceeding transactions with Program Trading could have more advantages as other leading stock markets in the world also used the method.

He added that most of foreign investors in Thailand had already used Program Trading regularly. If the method is canceled, foreign investors may need to find other ways to proceed the transactions or even worse circumstances, stop investing in the Thai stock market.