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Thai push for CLMV to issue baht bonds

Thai Finance Minister Sommai Phasee has urged both the public and private sector in Thailand’s neighbouring countries – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam – to issue baht-denominated bonds to raise funds for their infrastructure needs.

According to the Bangkok Post, the minister said the bond issuance would be in tune with his ministry’s intention to make the baht a widely used currency in those countries. Countries would be allowed to issue these bonds without a credit rating as long as they were guaranteed by their governments. Countries can also use credit ratings assigned by Thailand’s rating agencies instead of other international agencies, where there is a failure to get a government guarantee.

Mok Rady, head of the research and securities market development division at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia, said Cambodia has not yet shown interest in the appeal from its counterpart.

“Our market has not been as strong as others. We welcome the request; but it is not the right time for us to do that,” he said.

“We don’t reject it, but we can’t do it immediately because our regulations do not allow investing outside [of Cambodia]. It doesn’t mean that it prevents us, but it needs one other internal agreement on how to implement if we do that.”

Laos is the only country among the CMLV to have previously issued a baht bond, raising 9.59 billion baht ($293,000) of sovereign debt from Thailand, whereas EDL-Generation Plc floated bonds worth 6.5 billion baht in Thailand last October.

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