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Thai Airways loses state enterprise status after stake sell-off

Thai Airways loses state enterprise status after stake sell-off

BANGKOK: Debt-ridden Thai Airways International (THAI) has lost its state enterprise status after the Vayupak 1 Fund bought a 3.17% stake from the Finance Ministry on Friday (May 22), a source at the fund said.

By Bangkok Post

Saturday 23 May 2020, 10:02AM

A Thai Airways International plane leaves Suvarnabhumi airport. Photo: Bangkok Post / file

A Thai Airways International plane leaves Suvarnabhumi airport. Photo: Bangkok Post / file


The Vayupak 1 Fund has the status of a juristic person, not a state enterprise, even though it was established by a 2003 Cabinet resolution, the source told the Bangkok Post.

THAI shares closed at B4.90 on Friday, down B0.35 or 6.67%, in trade worth B285.2 million.

A source at the Finance Ministry said the airline will now submit its application to the Central Bankruptcy Court for rehabilitation under the bankruptcy law, with THAI proposing itself as the rehab planner.


"That process needs to be done as soon as possible, otherwise creditors may submit themselves to the court as planners," said the source.

In addition, if the government wants to have its representatives serve as plan administrators, they must first sit on the THAI board. By law, only members of the board can be nominated as plan administrators by the debtor. Creditors, however, can oppose the debtor’s proposal.

THAI has outstanding debts worth B200 billion, 30% of which is domestically owned.

Meanwhile, the Finance and Transport ministries will jointly set up a "superboard", a new panel to monitor the rehabilitation plan for the carrier.

The board will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, who oversees the government’s legal affairs.

UWC Thailand

The superboard itself will not implement the plan but only "scrutinise" the work and report its progress to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said yesterday after talks with Mr Wissanu and Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana.

It was earlier reported that the two ministries were locking horns over the composition of the new board set to supervise the airline after the Finance Ministry’s stake sell-off.

The Transport Ministry, for example, wanted to pack the board with its own people.

Mr Saksayam said the superboard will submit a list of candidates to serve as potential rehab planners for court approval.

The Transport Ministry already has four representatives in mind to form the superboard, he said.

They are deputy Transport Minister Thaworn Senneam, who supervises THAI; Chaiwat Tongkamkoon, permanent secretary for transport; Chayathan Promsorn, chief of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning; and Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, a former justice minister.

Other members will be nominated by the Finance Ministry after the cabinet officially allows it to play a role on the superboard.

But Mr Uttama said what he is really concerned with at the moment is the ongoing trade of THAI shares on the stock market, whose price has skyrocketed "unusually".

"I’ve asked the Stock Exchange of Thailand to look into the issue to find out whether it’s normal," Mr Uttama said.

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DeKaaskopp | 25 May 2020 - 08:59:10

@Kurt  Please check "Flag carrier" on Wikipedia. There you can find everything about the meaning and why Qantas,KLM or other airlines don't need to have a majority in government owned shares to be called flag carrier.
And what is a "Thai trog" ?

Kurt | 24 May 2020 - 19:18:59

* Consider the word 'noth' as not written. Qantas and Royal Dutch Airline are officially no flag carriers,  because Governments have a minority %%  shares, but still seen as it. But Thai Government until now always wanted to have majority shares for sake to show THAI as flag carrier. Yes, to many snouts at THAI trog. Top heavy useless management, to many employees, old fleet.  Etc.

DeKaaskopp | 24 May 2020 - 09:26:33

@Kurt  KLM and Quantas are still seen as the "Flag carrier"of their country. Nothing to do with Government share holdings.
"snouts at trog"???

Kurt | 23 May 2020 - 14:55:30

No big deal losing the 'flag carrier' status. Qantas and Royal dutch airlines ( for example) have minority Government share holding, but noth still seen as National flag carrier. Thailand can't be proud anymore of THAI as a flag carrier,  it is just a money swamp. To many useless snouts at trog. Now a new 30 person think tank. They not sit for 350 thb a day.  50 Billion soon gone.

Fascinated | 23 May 2020 - 11:41:19

State sells off shares to itself- typical con job. One will not be surprised who is benefiting from the 'unusual skyrocketing of shares. Its all a big game.


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