December 15, 2016 / 10:45 AM / 8 months ago

Thailand to launch $2.8 bln infrastructure fund in Q1 -official

BANGKOK, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Thailand plans to launch a 100-billion baht ($2.8 billion)infrastructure fund in the first quarter of 2017, a senior government official said on Thursday, as the military government seeks to finance investment projects to boost a weak economy.

Initially, the "Thailand Future Fund" will sell units worth 30 billion baht to 40 billion baht to Thai and foreign investors, Ekniti Nitithanprapas, director general of the State Enterprise Policy Office, told reporters.

"We aim to do it in the first quarter and will look for a good timing," he said, adding that the fund will later list on the Thai stock exchange.

Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong previously said the finance ministry would put 10 billion baht into the fund before selling its units to the public.

The Thai military seized power in May 2014 to end months of street protests but has struggled to revive growth in Southeast Asia's second-largest economy as exports and domestic demand remain weak.

The government has focused on driving investment, approving several investment plans, including large-scale infrastructure projects worth about 1.4 trillion baht, covering rail, roads, air transport and ports throughout Thailand.

$1 = 35.74 baht Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Tom Hogue

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