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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        14  June  2011

Thai SEC investigates securities firm

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Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the shareholding of Country Group Securities (CGS) in MFC Asset Management after a former CGS executive claimed it held more shares than marked data show for MFC.

An SEC official said regulators were acting after receiving evidence from Thoresen Thai Agencies (TTA), which has been under heavy pressure from dissident shareholders including Bee Taechaubol, a former president of CGS.

Mr. Bee reportedly claimed in a meeting with TTA executives that CGS controlled nearly 50 percent of the shares in MFC.

However, the latest available data from the Stock Exchange of Thailand as of April 29 showed CGS holding 24.92 percent of MFC, the country's oldest asset management company.

The other major shareholders were the Government Savings Bank with 24.5 percent, the Finance Ministry (16.67 percent), BNP Paribas Securities Services Singapore Branch (3.69 percent), and investor Song Vacharasriroj with 3.59 percent. The company has a free float of 33.91 percent.

Mr Bee's claim emerged in a transcript released last week by M.L. Chandchutha Chandratat, the TTA chief executive, of a recording made of a May 16 meeting at the Conrad Hotel with TTA management.

Bee is heard repeating a claim, which he had earlier denied in public, that he and his allies represented investors holding about 30 percent of the shares in TTA. The transcript was given to the SEC last week.

During the conversation, Mr Bee said that after CGS acquired 24.92 percent of MFC, it tried to raise its holding to 40 percent through a tender offer but the other shareholders voted against it. However, he said that the CGS group actually controlled 48 percent.

Mr. Bee resigned from CGS after authorities began investigating allegations of fraud committed while he served as a director of International Engineering Plc in 2006.

Under the Securities and Exchange Act, any party that acquires more than 5 percent of the shares in a listed company must inform the SET, and once its holding reaches 25 percent or more, it must make a mandatory tender offer to be fair to minority shareholders.





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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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