Thailand studies leaseholds for foreigners, land windfall tax

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BANGKOK - Thailand is studying a law to allow foreigners to buy property through 50-year leasehold contracts and also to sell them, which would help boost demand for the country's property sector, the finance minister said.

Foreigners currently cannot sell leasehold property.

"The finance ministry is looking at this idea, which is highly possible," Apisak Tantivorawong told a seminar late on Thursday.

"If we can do it, the property industry will boom again because demand will come from all over the world," he said.

The ministry is also looking at a "windfall" tax on landlords and property owners, who benefit from rising prices driven by government infrastructure developments, Apisak said. "We will tax on profits made from assets sold," he said.

Thailand's military government has ramped up infrastructure projects across the country in a bid to lift growth in Southeast Asia's second-largest economy, which has lagged its regional peers.