Overall, the SEC tends to deregulate consulting services in Thailand. Overseas companies may apply for one-time registration with the SEC in order to provide ‘General Advice’ to Thai investors, and they are not required to apply for an investment advisory license. The General Advice could be given via any means and media, including online application. In addition, the local asset management firms or Thai licensed intermediaries may bring in personnel from foreign fund houses over-seas to Thailand in order to provide Thai customers with information/advice relating to investment in capital markets products denominated in foreign currency, subject to certain rules and requirements. Foreign personnel must have certain qualifications, as required by the SEC.
Investment advisory and securities brokerage services are regarded as securities businesses and to conduct such services, a Type-A license is required.
There are currently 38 companies that have been licensed to provide investment advisory services and 42 licensed securities brokerage services, respectively. Information on market share, revenues or customers have not been made publicly available.
Note that almost all securities brokerage companies offer services and fundamental information through a mobile and web application platform. However, not many of them provide program-trading.
Generally, start-up companies which engage in the business of Robo advisory services would still require a licence for investment advisory services. However, if they want to participate in the SEC sandbox project, they may liaise and collaborate with Thai licenced asset management firms to provide the services to investors, and they may engage in the SEC regulatory sandbox project. Moreover, licensed robo advisory service companies may independently participate in the regulatory sandbox project with the SEC.
Athistha (Nop) Chitranukroh
Piyanuj (Lui) Ratprasatporn