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  1. #1
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    Could Bangkok ever become an international financial centre like London?

    Although a "news" item, I thought the comments below, made by the current Lord Mayor of London, worthy of some debate, so I have stuck it in here. If there are any Mods of this board who feel this was inappropriate, please feel free to move it:

    LONDON'S LORD MAYOR IN BANGKOK
    Financial hub a distant hope

    Could Bangkok ever become an international financial centre like London?



    Alderman David Brewer, lord mayor of the City of London, believes Bangkok is certainly moving in that direction. However, it needs to improve its transport and regulations to attract international companies.

    "We can't ask people to come to a financial centre. We have to attract them and keep them. That's what we do in London," he said.


    London's lord mayor was in Bangkok as part of a regional visit. He met top executives from the Bank of Thailand and the Securities and Exchange Commission and attended a financial market seminar to speak about the UK's experience in public and private partnership cooperation.


    He also met Bangkok's governor, Apirak Kosayodhin, and the issue of Bangkok rising to emulate London's success as an international financial hub was a large part of their conversation.


    "Transportation is a major consideration for us in London," he said, and referring to Bangkok, he asked. "Is it possible to get in from the airport to the city quickly? I know it's more difficult here to get around between meetings."


    As a financial centre, London has 43 per cent of the world's foreign equity market, 70 per cent of all European bonds are traded there and foreign exchange turnover is worth US$753 billion (Bt28.7 trillion) a day.


    Importantly, a financial centre needs good regulations, and the city must have an academic education system good enough to offer human resources, he said.


    He also said that an essential element in turning Bangkok into a financial centre is liberalising the country's financial systems.


    "Twenty years ago," Brewer said, "we had a big bang. We liberalised everything."


    Although US and European banks made a big impact in the London market after liberalisation, "by opening up, we become bigger. You actually get new products and new ideas coming in," he said.


    However, he said Thailand should make such moves at the correct time.

    "We believe you have to think of your economy here. You have to do things at the correct pace."


    Apart from financial liberalisation, he said London's experience in public and private partnership cooperation should also serve as a model for Thailand in its public works.


    Public and private partnership cooperation began in the UK about 25 years ago, and was refashioned in 1997 to allow the two sectors to work together to create new assets, and to have them built, financed and managed more efficiently.


    Brewer said that since 1995 there have been 700 cooperative projects in the UK, and 500 are currently in operation. The private sector has funded projects worth more than ฃ50 billion (Bt3.6 trillion). They include 44 hospitals and 119 other health projects, 23 roads, bridges and light rail projects and 800 new or refurbished schools.


    Public and private partnership cooperation is a transparent method of procurement in England, which is crucial in Thailand's current political climate, he said.

    Brewer said that in spite of the political turmoil and anticipation of a new election, he was impressed by the optimism of Thai people.
    source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2006...s_30004349.php

  2. #2
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    NO

    lord mayor of the City of London doesn't know shit

  3. #3
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    If ye ask me on a Monday, I'd say...


    yeeeeeeess.....

  4. #4
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    Concur with Butterfly. Will not happen.

    Lack of transparency. Corruption. Nepotism. Unwillingness to expend capital on technology. Unwillingness to allow foreign investment. Political uncertainty. Nationalism. Inability to effectively plan against 3-5 year time horizons. Poor credit control. Inadequate regulation. Inadequate education and training of management. Low productivity. Lack of creativity and innovation.

    That about covers it...

    I think the Lord Mayor was being very polite...

  5. #5
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    ^ I agree. Lack of any understanding and training of financial markets screamed out. However, with the Thais seemingly unwilling to freely allow foreign expertise and knowhow to operate in the market, this is unlikely to change in the near future, regardles of whether or not the Mega Projects bring better infrastructure.

    Also, are most meetings not done via video-conferencing these days, or is that just the way we seem to be moving?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by William
    Importantly, a financial centre needs good regulations, and the city must have an academic education system good enough to offer human resources, he said.
    That blows them out straight away, let alone that financial investors need to be able to be trusted.

  7. #7
    There once upon a time...
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    Quote Originally Posted by William
    Also, are most meetings not done via video-conferencing these days, or is that just the way we seem to be moving?
    Depends.

    I would never have dreamed of video conferencing a client, but most of these were high worth individuals or senior level employees. Face-to-face was the only way.

    Inter-departmental and supplier/collaborative (i.e. with information/service providers) video-conferencing was common enough, but even then far more was achieved in face-to-face meetings, so policy usually was to make every thitd or fourth meeting face-to-face.

    I agree with the need to be able to get around. Too often when a financial institution physically pulls out of a market, assuring customers nothing will change due to great technology, the relationship quicker cools then inevitably ceases sooner or later...someone with a "man on the ground" wins them over.

    But this Lord Mayor cited getting around as one of two of Bangkok issue to be addressed...I would have ranked it WELL down the list. Much more important shit to clean up first. Besides, transport isn't that bad around the financial district. Again, I think he was being polite...raising a hurdle the Thais can't help but agree with...

  8. #8
    lom
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    No chance, Singapore has already taken that position.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torbek
    nability to effectively plan against 3-5 year time horizons
    Let alone plan against 3-5 months time horizon. Planning is not Thailand strong and even as a farang you can't plan anything here as there is always a monkey throwing a wrench in your little plan. See building a dream house in Thailand for reference.

    Quote Originally Posted by lom
    No chance, Singapore has already taken that position.
    No. Singapore is also an exotic market. Banking maybe good, but their strong regulations make it impossible to setup banking and other financial structure easily. They are only getting away with this because Thailand is the next big player and is much worse than them.
    Last edited by Butterfly; 19-05-2006 at 03:07 PM.

  10. #10
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    ^ btw, I am also trading Singapore stocks and they have become better deals recently than Thai stocks. Cheap book value and great dividends (as much as 26% in some instances)

    Still an exotic and risky market. Better transparancy though (not always a plus btw if you want to beat the market) but not very sophisticated

  11. #11
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    Does it still take 5 weeks to clear a cheque in Singapore?

  12. #12
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    ^ which currency ? if USD, about 2 months.

  13. #13
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    Actually the financial center of Asia is already HK, so I am not even sure what is the point of this article.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly
    ^ which currency ? if USD, about 2 months.
    Yes, USD.

    Ridiculous.

  15. #15
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    Cheques suck ass.

    The point of the article is to provide a goal for Thailand to strive for... and to report the gist of a meeting with a relatively important person who had an opinion about Bangkok's future. Misinformed as it may be.
    Last edited by Skulldigger; 19-05-2006 at 04:16 PM.

  16. #16
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    Well I think they have other priority first like:

    - Telephone network that works
    - Mobile network that works
    - ADSL that works
    - People who work
    - Streets like in a real city, not truck roads
    - Sidewalk where people can walk

    etc...

  17. #17
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    And perhaps they should tackle the suspicion that at any moment the Prime Minister of the day and no doubt a host of other influential persons can seemingly manipulate the market to their own personal advantage, and the disadvantage of every other poor sucker.

  18. #18
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    ^ well to be honnest, it's the same in every market. Look at what happened in the US with the different accounting scandals and mutual funds pricing manipulation by brokers etc... here only influential politicians do it, in the west everyone else is involved. Democracy at work

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    That's a fair point, Buttered Butt.

  20. #20
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    This one as well was from this week.

    Maybe we need a list with links so people can review them

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