How does an exchange-traded fund or stock open at a higher or lower price than it closed at the night before? This has always puzzled me. Market prices are determined by the "bid" what a potential buyer is willing to pay and "ask" what a potential seller is willing to accept. As bids and asks change throughout the day, so too does the price at which a stock trades. It's largely the same for ETFs, whose prices are determined by the value of their underlying securities.
Lots of things can happen between the time the stock market closes and when it opens the next day — such as economic, earnings or political news — that cause bid and ask prices to change. As a result, the opening price of a stock or ETF is rarely the same as the previous day's closing price. My reason for asking is that I am a pretty bad stock picker. If you don't have the time or expertise to choose individual stocks then by all means consider an ETF.
Just make sure you pick an ETF with low management expense ratio and a straightforward investing approach so you'll know exactly what you are buying. These ETFs will all have a fair amount of overlap in their holdings. Some Canadian investors prefer to buy currency-hedged U. ETFs but there are pros and cons to hedging, as I've discussed previously tgam. You have mentioned that you generally try to keep your U. Why 10 per cent? That's just my way of controlling my currency risk — the number is not carved in stone.
Other people may have a higher — or lower — tolerance for currency volatility. Now, however, I'm not as eager to stick my neck out currency-wise for the simple reason that a recovery in the Canadian dollar would pose a headwind. Thailand has an independent judiciary that is generally effective in enforcing property and contractual rights.
The legal process is slow in practice, and litigants or third parties sometimes influence judgments through extra-legal means. There are three levels to the judicial system in Thailand: the Court of First Instance, which handles most matters at inception; the Court of Appeals; and the Supreme Court. The Specialized Appeal Courts handles appeals from specialized courts. The Supreme Court has discretion whether to take a case that has been decided by the Specialized Appeal Court.
Foreign investment in most service sectors is limited to 49 percent ownership. The Act allows the Bank of Thailand to raise foreign ownership limits for existing local banks from 25 percent to 49 percent on a case-by-case basis. The Minister of Finance can authorize foreign ownership exceeding 49 percent if recommended by the central bank. Apart from acquiring shares of existing local banks, foreign banks can enter the Thai banking system by obtaining new licenses, issued by the central bank and the Ministry of Finance.
The Life Insurance Act and the Non-Life Insurance Act apply a 25 percent cap on foreign ownership of insurance companies and on foreign boards of directors. However, in January the Office of the Insurance Commission OIC , the primary insurance industry regulator, notified that any Thai life or non-life insurance company wishing to have one or more foreigners hold more than 25 percent but no more than 49 percent of its total voting shares, or to have foreigners comprise more than a quarter but less than half of its total directors, may apply to the OIC for approval.
Any foreign national wishing to hold more than 10 percent of the voting shares in an insurance company must seek OIC approval. With approval, a foreign national can acquire up to 49 percent of the voting shares. Any foreign shareholder holding more than ten percent of the voting shares prior to the effective date of the notification is grandfathered in and may maintain the current shareholding, but must obtain OIC approval to increase it. Thailand enacted an updated version of the Trade Competition Act on October 5, The updated Act covers all business activities, except: state-owned enterprises exempted by law; government policies related to national security, public benefit, common interest and public utility; cooperatives, agricultural and cooperative groups, government agencies, and other enterprises exempted by the law.
The OTCC, comprised of seven members nominated by a selection committee and endorsed by the Cabinet, advises the government on issuance of relevant regulations, ensures fair and free trade practices, investigates cases and complaints of unfair trade, and pursues criminal and disciplinary actions against those found guilty of unfair trade practices stipulated in the law.
The law focuses on unlawful exercise of market dominance; mergers or collusion that could lead to monopoly, unfair competition and restricting competition; and unfair trade practices. Merger control thresholds and additional details will be provided in notifications and regulations to be issued at a later date.
The Act broadens the definition of a business operator to include affiliates and group companies, and broadens the liability of directors and management, subjecting them to criminal and administrative sanctions if their actions or omissions resulted in violations.
The Act also provides more details about penalties in cases involving administrative court or criminal court actions. The government has authority to control the price of specific products under the Price of Goods and Services Act. As of January , the MOC increased the number of controlled commodities and services to 54 from 53 the previous year. Aside from these controlled commodities, raising prices of consumer products is prohibited without first notifying the Committee.
The government uses its controlling stakes in major suppliers of products and services, such as Thai Airways and PTT Public Company Limited, to influence prices in the market. Food purity and drug efficacy are controlled and regulated by the Thai Food and Drug Administration with authority similar to its U.
The Ministry of Labor sets and administers labor and employment standards. Private property can be expropriated for public purposes in accordance with Thai law, which provides for due process and compensation. This process is seldom invoked and has been principally confined to real estate owned by Thai nationals and required for public works projects. In the past year, U.
Thailand is a signatory to the New York Convention and enacted its own rules governing conciliation and arbitration procedures in the Arbitration Act of Thailand signed the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes in , but has not yet ratified it. There have been several notable cases of investor-state disputes in the last fifteen years, but none involved U. Kingsgate, a major shareholder of the operator of the disputed mine, claimed the Thai government violated the Australia-Thailand Free Trade Agreement and commenced international arbitration proceedings against the country to recover losses incurred from the closure.
The process is still continuing as of May The new rules: empower TAI to appoint arbitrators when any of the parties in dispute fails to do so; establish a day duration for arbitration procedures; and mandate issuance of a final award within 30 days of the closure of pleadings. An amendment to the Arbitration Act, which aims to allow foreign arbitrators to take part in cases involving foreign parties, was approved by the National Legislative Assembly in January As of May , the new version of this Act is awaiting royal endorsement, after which it will be published in the Royal Gazette; both steps must occur before it enters into force.
In addition, the semi-public Thailand Arbitration Center offers mediation and arbitration for civil and commercial disputes. Under very limited circumstances, a court can set aside an arbitration award. Thailand does not have a bilateral investment treaty or a free trade agreement with the United States. Chapter 11 and does not criminalize bankruptcy. The law stipulates that all applications for repayment must be made within one month after the Bankruptcy Court publishes the appointment of an official receiver.
If a creditor eligible for repayment does not apply within this period, he forfeits his right to receive payment or the court may cancel the order to reorganize the business. If any person opposes a filing, the receiver shall investigate the matter and approve, partially approve, or dismiss the application. Any objections to the orders issued by the receiver may be filed with the court within 14 days after learning of the issued order. The EEC leverages the adjacent Eastern Seaboard industrial area that has been an investment destination for more than 30 years.
The EEC Act provides investment incentives and privileges. Investors will be able to obtain long-term land leases of 99 years with an initial lease of up to 50 years and a renewal of up to 49 years. The public-private partnership approval process is shortened to approximately nine months. Foreign experts who work in the EEC will be subject to a maximum personal income tax rate of 17 percent; a 15 percent personal income tax rate will apply to executives whose companies have International Business Centers in the EEC.
Moreover, grants will be provided to support targeted technology development under the Competitive Enhancement Act. There will be a one-stop service to expedite multiple business processes for investors. On March 26, , the Thai Cabinet approved Royal Decrees cancelling grandfathered tax incentives under former incentive regimes for foreign investors who establish: regional operating headquarters; international headquarters including a treasury center ; and international trading centers.
The repeal will become effective June 1, for corporate income tax incentives and effective January 1, for individual income tax incentives. Tel: Website: www. In practice, there is no record of disapproval for requested land. Private developers are heavily involved in the development of these estates.
The IEAT currently operates 9 estates, plus 41 more in conjunction with the private sector, in 15 provinces nationwide. Private-sector developers operate over 50 industrial estates, most of which have received promotion privileges from the Board of Investment.
Businesses may import raw materials into and export finished products from these zones free of duty including value added tax. These zones are located within industrial estates and many have customs facilities to speed processing. In addition to these zones, factory owners may apply for permission to establish a bonded warehouse within their premises to which raw materials, used exclusively in the production of products for export, may be imported duty free. Thailand is focusing on improving trade and investment with neighboring countries.
Business sectors and industries that might benefit from tax and non-tax incentives offered in the SEZs include logistics, warehouses near border areas, distribution, services, tourism, labor-intensive factories, and manufacturers using raw materials from neighboring countries. The new decree eliminates mandatory prison time for undocumented workers.
The new decree also bans sub-contract employers from hiring migrant workers and requires employers to provide to migrant workers a copy of their employment contracts. The decree also increases the grace period for migrant workers to change employers from 15 to 30 days. Employers and employment agencies are required by law to bear the cost of repatriating migrant workers back to their home country when workers resign or when their employment contract ends.
Thai law requires foreign workers to have a work permit issued by the Ministry of Labor in order to work legally in Thailand. The Ministry of Labor considers the following factors when deciding whether to issue a work permit:. Thai law also reserves 39 occupations for Thai workers; the Ministry of Labor will not grant work permits for foreigners to engage in these occupations, which include lawyers, architects, and civil engineers.
Generally, employers must hire four Thai nationals for every one foreign employee. Different requirements apply to companies promoted by the BOI, which typically result in greater flexibility and ease in obtaining work permits for foreign nationals. Such schemes apply equally to senior management and boards of directors. While the employment of foreigners in some sectors is subject to the foreign equity restrictions of the Foreign Business Act, exceptions can be granted as promotional privileges by BOI or IEAT, or, as a temporary measure, in the form of government approval issued by the Thai government.
Exceptions can also be provided based on international treaties to which Thailand is a party. IT providers have expressed concern that the new laws might place unreasonable burdens on them and have introduced new uncertainties in the technology sector. Thailand has implemented a requirement that all debit transactions processed by a domestic debit card network must use a proprietary chip. The examination of patent applications through issuance of patents takes on an average of six to eight years.
Patent issuance may take longer in certain technology sectors. In order to address the backlog problem, DIP hired 88 additional patent and trademark examiners over the last few years. Additional examiners helped decrease the patent application backlog by 20 percent in As of September , approximately 16, patent applications were pending for examination, according to DIP.
With regard to trademarks, DIP takes on average months for trademark approvals. In addition, Thailand is in the process of a two-phase amendment of the Copyright Act. The first-phase draft is under review by the Council of State, while the second phase amendment is in the drafting process.
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