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  1. #1
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    StrontiumDog's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    Thaicom defies ICT order

    Thaicom defies ICT order

    Thaicom Plc says it cannot comply with an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Ministry order to return a US$6.7-million insurance settlement, as it has done nothing to violate the terms of its concession.

    But Arak Chonlatanon, chief executive of the country's sole satellite service provider, said the company was willing to compromise on the iPSTAR satellite dispute and reduce the foreign shareholding in Thaicom through reasoned negotiation.

    He was responding to a cabinet resolution on Tuesday to push ICT Minister Juti Krairiksh to remedy Thaicom's concession amendments.

    The ministry will form a committee to discuss with Thaicom what to do with the iPSTAR broadband satellite, which was not part of the original concession.

    The committee will comprise representatives from the Finance Ministry, the Council of State, the Office of the Attorney-General and other agencies.

    The Thaicom affair is related to last year's Supreme Court ruling in the assets seizure case against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the founder of Shin Corporation.

    That ruling found the Thaksin cabinet allowed Thaicom to change the terms of its concession to launch iPSTAR as its main satellite and not a backup for Thaicom 3 as stipulated in the concession terms.

    Shin, Thaicom's parent firm, will also be asked to increase its stake in Thaicom from 41% now to 51% as per the original agreement.

    The ruling also found Thaicom violated its concession when it used $6.7 million in insurance proceeds from a technical glitch with Thaicom 3 in 2003 to lease transponder space on a foreign satellite.

    The ICT Ministry insists the company must return the money. ''We will return the $6.7 million to the ICT Ministry if the government will also return the same amount to us to subsidise the construction of the Thaicom 5 satellite worth $101 million, a condition that is stipulated in the concession agreement,'' said Mr Arak.

    Regarding a reduction in foreign shareholding, he said that would require serious discussion.

    But he reiterated that his company had acted in good faith and was in full compliance with the agreement to operate domestic communication satellites.

    Shares of Thaicom (THCOM) closed yesterday on the SET at 5.85 baht, down 15 satang, in trade worth 65 million baht.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  2. #2
    Bettyboo's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
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    Today @ 02:12 PM
    When will the ICT ministry be investigated??? A purely political tool that takes billions of taxpayers baht to fight a socio-political battle on behalf of the yellows/dems/army...

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