Thailand Financial Sector Assessment Program: Fixed Income

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The debt market in Thailand has made important strides since the financial crisis of 1997. The Thai government has made significant progress in building an orderly yield curve and is beginning to establish some benchmarks. However, more needs to be done if the government is to achieve its objective of enhancing liquidity in the market. In particular, liquidity in the secondary market would be enhanced by reducing the frequency of auctions, while increasing the size of each individual offering. Such a change will require primary dealers to change their mode of operation from effectively a broking operation to the provision of greater underwriting and market making services; consequently a review of the primary dealer system is warranted. Nevertheless, prospects for development of the government securities market will be constrained overall by the likely limited financing need going forward, unless the authorities can secure some additional flexibility to restructure the existing portfolio or otherwise establish more meaningful benchmarks. The corporate debt market suffers from too few issuers of corporate debt and too little diversity of debt offerings. This reflects, in part the limited corporate need for long-term financing, the ready availability of alternative financing by commercial banks at competitive rates, and regulatory policies that emphasize investor protection by imposing substantial limitations on the ability of institutional investors to purchase anything but investment grade debt, which effectively precludes issuance of below investment grade debt.
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International Monetary Fund; World Bank. 2008. Thailand Financial Sector Assessment Program: Fixed Income. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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