Proposal to Amend Securities Law to “Stamp Out Securities Crimes”

The Bangkok Post reported on 6 February 2012 that Vasant Thienhom, deputy secretary-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, would like to change Thai securities laws "to close enforcement loopholes".  For example, Mr. Thienhom would like to expand the concept of traders "acting in concert".  The Bangkok Post quotes Mr. Thienhom as saying:

"Take share manipulation for instance. The current law is relatively restrictive in the definition of traders acting in concert. Violators aren't necessarily limited to family members or relatives, but in practice groups of people who act in a collaborative manner," he said.

Can we expect to see a more expansive definition of "controlled parties" under Thai SEC laws and regulations?  In July of last year (2011), the reporting requirements were expanded, but the definition of a "controlled party" did not change.  If the definition of a "controlled party" is expanded, it will represent a significant change to the regulatory terrain in Thailand.  

Mr. Thienhom also said the Finance Ministry is considering changing the law so that civil penalties can be imposed in addition to criminal sanctions.  The goal of this change is presumably to allow regulators to avoid cumbersome criminal proceedings, which drag on for as long as ten years, and instead use expedited proceedings to enforce securities laws in Thailand.  

The article goes on to say:

"Another change underway is to allow victims of certain crimes, such as false reporting, management fraud or other violations to file claims for redress under other laws, such as the labour or environmental laws." A draft law is under review by the Council of State.  

Thailand's labour laws are very protective of employees, and Thai laws allows employees to commence private criminal proceedings in certain situations.  For background on Thai labour law click here.  While the details are not yet available, this sort of change to Thai securities law could represent a major shift in securities regulation in Thailand.