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CAPITAL MARKETS

Thailand's model broker

Since Asia's 1997 financial crisis, most Thai financial businesses have been forced to focus on recovery and restructuring. But Asset Plus Securities came through unscathed. Now called Asia Plus Securities, the firm shows what might lie ahead for other Thai financial firms if they can get their houses in order.

Kongkiat Opaswongkarn, chairman and CEO of Asset
Plus Securities has just put the finishing touches to a
transformational deal that will take the local
investment banking and securities business to number
two in turnover on Thailand's lively bourse.



THERE IS A discreet smile on the face of Kongkiat Opaswongkarn (pictured right) when he walks into his office in downtown Bangkok. The chairman and chief executive officer of Asset Plus Securities has just put the finishing touches to a transformational deal that will take the local investment banking and securities business to number two in turnover on Thailand's lively bourse. In May, Asset Plus Securities merged with ABN Amro Securities, another locally listed Thai broker, to form Asia Plus Securities. The deal was structured as an acquisition of Asset Plus, but was effectively a reverse takeover of ABN Amro Securities. Kongkiat is already pondering the next deal.

"We still have a couple of things we want to do," Kongkiat says. "We'll consider selling the Asset Plus company, the shell: it has a licence and a SET [Stock Exchange of Thailand] membership."