The Thai government is looking to raise the corpus of the 100 billion baht ($2.8 billion) Thailand Future Fund (TFF), after overseas investors, including China Investment Corporation, expressed interest in investing in this vehicle, officials aware of the development told DEALSTREETASIA.
Thai government officials said several institutional investors had shown interest in committing capital towards this infrastructure fund, that is scheduled to launch later this year, with the most prominent being China Investment Corporation (CIC), the Chinese sovereign wealth fund responsible for managing part of that country’s foreign exchange reserves.
“The feedback from foreign funds is better than we expected. If they want to invest more than 100 billion baht, we are willing to enlarge the fund’s size because we need around 1.7 trillion baht ($47.89 billion) of capital to fund our infrastructural projects over the next five years,” Somchai Sujjapongse, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Finance, told DEALSTREETASIA.
“The funds that are interested have sent the representatives to discuss during this period. As scheduled, the fund should be able to be launched in May or June,” he said.
However, he said the vehicle’s proportion between Thai and foreign investors has not been finalized yet.
Thailand Future Fund was approved by the Thai Cabinet in December last year to be a major engine to stimulate the investment in the country especially infrastructural development projects.
The fund is expected to be listed on Thai bourse and managed by mutual fund houses as the investments would be global.
Last month Thailand’s Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong led a delegation to Beijing to meet a group of Chinese investors, both state enterprises and large private companies.
He told local media that CIC, with the $740 billion of assets under management, expressed its interest to join Thailand Future Fund as it is eyeing on investing in the secure and long-term assets.
Additionally, he persuaded Chinese state enterprises and private companies to expand their investment in Thailand particularly ten targeted industries, industrial estates and the establishment of international headquarters.
“We are trying to enhance Thailand to be the hub of trading and investment in ASEAN. Therefore, we have also cooperated with Chinese multinational banking company ICBC Bank, which is willing to give the financial support to Chinese investors to run the business in Thailand,” the Finance Ministry told the media.
Apart from CIC, he also met and talked to the world’s largest construction material supplier China National Building Material Group, the world’s fourth largest steel maker China Minmetals Corporation and China’s major power plant operator Power China Group during his visit.