The Securities Exchange
Commission (SEC) of Thailand and the Office of the Auditor General
of Thailand (OAG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to
enhance the audit quality of state owned enterprises (SOEs) listed
on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).

The agreement comes as
the country is required to comply with international audit
standards which come into effect later this year.

The collaboration is
supported by the World Bank under the First Initiative Project,
Thailand: Enhancing Securities Exchange Commission Audit Capacity.
The OAG has joined the project to ensure SOEs comply with
international audit standards, and the World Bank will provide an
expert on these standards to train OAG officers, as well as
sponsoring their registration fees.

The training will be
based on the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and
Wales, while the SEC will co-ordinate with SEC-approved auditors to
allow OAG officers to observe their overseas branches. The
collaboration will also provide OAG officers with an opportunity to
share knowledge and experience.

SEC secretary-general
Vorapol Socatiyanurak said as the majority of listed SOEs are large
organisations and account for 17% of market capitalisation, the
project will “enhance confidence in the quality of financial
statements of listed firms in the Thai capital market, hence, boost
market competitiveness and attract worldwide investors”.

OAG deputy auditor
general Prapee Ankinandana added the collaboration gives its
officers “more opportunities to enhance their knowledge on
international audit standards” and could help to “further improve”
its own quality assurance systems.

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“At the end of the day,
investors will be more confident in financial statements of state
owned enterprises,” Ankinandana said.