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Cablegate: Thailand: Opic-Supported Investment Fund

VZCZCXRO5693
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHBK #2462 2710946
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 280946Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8422
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI PRIORITY 7048
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS BANGKOK 002462

STATE PASS TO OPIC - BARBERA BRERETON
TREASURY FOR OASIA
SINGAPORE FOR FINATT BLEIWEIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN ECON EINV ELAB TH
SUBJECT: Thailand: OPIC-supported Investment Fund

REF: STATE 95170

Sensitive But Unclassified. For Official Use Only.

1. (SBU) In response to reftel request for comments regarding the
OPIC-supported Global Renewable Energy Investment Fund Program and
the USRG Emerging Market Fund in particular, Post reviewed the Thai
government's energy development strategy and confirms that the
program and fund in question are compatible with the strategy.
(Note: The Abhisit government's energy development strategy involves
five prongs: intensify energy development for greater self-reliance,
elevate alternative energy policy on the national agenda, monitor
and structure energy prices to keep them stable and affordable,
promote energy conservation and efficiency, and encourage clean
energy procurement and consumption. End Note.)

2. (SBU) Post believes there remains a need for capital to support
energy development in Thailand in line with this strategy. Despite
the Bank of Thailand and the Thai government's encouragement of
private sector lending, commercial bank loan growth remains static.
As a result, the business community, especially small and medium
enterprises, would benefit from alternative sources of capital.
With regard to other sources of funds, while multilateral banks
could make them available (such as through soft loans to Thai
state-own enterprises (SOEs) including the Electricity Generating
Authority of Thailand (EGAT)), such a practice is not common. With
regard to the local reputation of the prospective fund manager, a
representative of the Thai Securities Exchange Commission told us
September 23 that they are not familiar with the manager. Post is
also not familiar with the manager.

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