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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        10  June  2011

Thai ministry to dilute shares in THAI Airways

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The Finance Ministry intends to dilute its holdings in Thai Airways International to 49.99 percent from 51.03 percent to support a bid to end the flag carrier's legal status as a state enterprise.

The ministry would sell a stake of 0.04 percent to the Crown Property Bureau, THAI president Piyasvasti Amranand said yesterday.

He did not elaborate but insisted the transaction would have no impact on the carrier's operation, as it would still be a state enterprise in practice.

THAI management has been pushing to end state enterprise status to give the airline greater flexibility in setting and executing strategy in the face of heavy competition in the aviation industry.

As a state enterprise, THAI is subject to a number of regulations including government supervision of its annual investment plans, executive appointments and salary structure.

Dr Piyasvasti also said the ministry's share sale would not have any bearing on the airline's 200-billion-baht-plus plane procurement programme.

The procurement did not require a ministry loan guarantee and funding costs would be based on the airline's credit rating, he added.

Jamsri Sukchotirat, acting head of the THAI labour union, said the union remained opposing to turning the airline from a state enterprise to a private company.

Members agree the carrier needs to be freed of red tape to make it more flexible and competitive.

Areepong Bhoocha-oom, the Finance permanent secretary, said the ministry had not yet finalised the amount of THAI shares to be sold, adding the new government would have to approve the sale

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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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