SEC introduces “Accredited Investor” regime

The SEC Board and the Capital Market Supervisory Board have introduced the concept of "accredited investors" in order to allow enterprises seeking to raise funds with more flexibility by not having to be bound to the same disclosure and reporting requirements that apply when raising funds from most retail investors. Accredited investors are essentially those investors with higher risk-taking capability who do not require the same levels of protection offered to other retail investors, and are defined by the SEC as:

     (1) institutional investors such as commercial banks, mutual funds and provident funds and

     (2) investors with "high net worth" defined as (i)individuals with at least 50 million baht in total assets or 4 million baht in annual income or with 10 million baht invested in securities) or (ii) juristic persons having shareholders equity of at least 100 million baht or securities investment at the minimum of 20 million baht.

According to the SEC's release, accredited investors will at first be permitted to invest in (1) unrated bonds and (2) non-retail mutual funds that invest in unrated or non-investment grade debt instruments without limit on the investment proportion.