Caveat emptor in the Thai debt market

Thai investors are in love with domestic corporate bonds at the moment - despite the questionable security of many issues.

The Thai corporate debt market is not for the faint-hearted disclosure requirements are weak, credit ratings are hard to come by, the secondary market is highly illiquid and the countrys new bankruptcy laws are largely untested. Despite this, local investors, banks, institutions and retail, are clamouring for paper. 

Theres huge amounts of liquidity around and theres a lack of bank borrowing so theres lots of money in the system and not many places to put it. Investors are looking for high yields, so theres lots of demand for local bonds, says Mark Boyne, HSBCs treasurer in Thailand.

While depositors want better yields than the 2% or so...

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