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The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) jointly with capital market partners, launched FundConnext on Monday 17 July 2017, which will increase opportunities for investors to invest in mutual funds managed by various asset management companies with more convenience than ever before through mutual fund selling agents, including securities firms. At this initial stage, five asset management companies and three securities companies have joined and are ready to offer services.
SET President Kesara Manchusree stated that FundConnext is an important financial technology (FinTech) innovation aimed at giving investors and savers fast and convenient access to a variety of mutual funds. This standardized and centralized system allows asset management companies more flexibility to expand business. In addition, to facilitate investors, Settrade.com Co Ltd., has also launched the Settrade Streaming for Fund application so that securities firms can offer mutual fund trading services for investors via smart phones. FundConnext is considered a significant system resulted from the cooperation between SET and stakeholders in all sectors of the mutual fund industry with key objectives not only to support the growth of the mutual fund industry but also to equip the Thai capital market with the state-of-the-art infrastructure. This will enable investors, savers, and the general public to access investment via the capital market, in line with SET’s vision: “To Make the Capital Market ‘Work’ for Everyone.”
Rapee Sucharitakul, Secretary-General, The Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand (SEC), said that the FundConnext platform is the key infrastructure to enhance competitiveness of mutual fund business and standardize the unit trading process as such supporting long-term business growth. This is the first time that SEC has connected the mutual fund information system with SET in order to allow the FundConnext system to automatically generate mutual fund factsheet in a standard format for investors, reducing the workload of asset management companies as a result.
Voravan Tarapoom, Chairman of Federation of Thai Capital Market Organization (FETCO)and Association of Investment Management Companies (AIMC), said that FundConnext centralized system developed by SET is an important foundation for the expansion of mutual fund distribution channels in Thailand. The synergy from cooperation among all in the mutual fund business sector has led to this concrete result. Asset management companies have joined forces to create a standard application form for investors to open mutual fund accounts so that investors do not have to provide the same personal information repeatedly. FundConnext provides an additional avenue for mutual fund market on top of the existing channels through which investors can still trade mutual funds as usual. All in all, this new mutual fund service platform, using innovative technology, will create new opportunities for investors in making investment decision and monitoring, as well as for the Thai capital market in gaining competitive edge at regional level.
SET, in collaboration with the capital market sector, has developed FundConnext since 2016 and completed in Q1/2017. SET keeps on developing, and presently five asset management companies are utilizing the system. These include Aberdeen Asset Management Company, CIMB-Principal Asset Management Company, Kasikorn Asset Management Company, SCB Asset Management Company and TALIS Asset Management Company. In addition, three securities companies are utilizing FundConnext, namely Kasikorn Securities, Maybank Kim Eng Securities (Thailand) and SCB Securities. SET is currently working with stakeholders including banks, insurance companies, and unit investment trusts for more services to come.