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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    William's Avatar
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    FOREIGN BUSINESS NOMINEES: Up to one year likely to sell down holdings

    FOREIGN BUSINESS NOMINEES

    Up to one year likelyto sell down holdings


    PHUSADEE ARUNMAS
    The Commerce Ministry is likely to give companies with nominee problems between six months and one year to sell down shares to comply with the Foreign Business Act, minister Krirk-krai Jirapaet said yesterday. ''It is highly possible that the schedule will be varied based on factors of each business sector, and the size of capital of individual companies,'' said Mr Krirk-krai.

    Companies with low registered capital between 300 million and 500 million baht might need a shorter time to divest their foreign shareholdings, but those with capital between one billion and ten billion baht need more time, he said.

    The legal changes, he added, would not hurt investor confidence. ''We're altering a law and it has nothing to do with investor confidence, and I believe that confidence will grow when the rule is corrected,'' he said.

    ''Those who breached the law should now conform to it. This problem is a critical one for Thailand as nominees have been widely used to do engage in businesses that are prohibited to foreigners.''

    The ministry is expected to finalise revisions to the 1999 Foreign Business Act this week, including changes in foreign shareholding limits and the definition of nominees. The adjustment period might not take as long as three years as foreign investors requested, he said.

    ''Anyway, we will consider the draft from the committee before making a decision,'' Mr Krirk-krai said.

    Concerns about foreign ownership and the complex structures used by some companies have been a major issue since the takeover of Shin Corp in January by Temasek Holdings of Singapore.

    The ministry is now waiting for the revised draft prepared by a committee chaired by Pramon Sutivong, who also serves as chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. The committee is scheduled to conclude revisions on Thursday.

    According to Mr Pramon, the law would be changed to give a clearer definition of ''nominees'' and the timeframe for companies with nominee problems to adjust. In addition, the committee would specify which businesses foreigners can invest, and which remain off limits.

    Committee members, who began working two months ago, still disagree on whether to eliminate some service industries now reserved exclusively for Thais.

    ''But all [disputed issues] will be concluded [today] with options for the ministry,'' said Mr Pramon.
    Besides the Foreign Business Act, the Commerce Ministry is also amending the Retail Act. Both drafts will be submitted for cabinet consideration next month.

  2. #2
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    Dougal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William
    The legal changes, he added, would not hurt investor confidence.
    I wonder what colour the sky is in his world.

  3. #3
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    Interestingly, there was a CNN interview with an Asian finance expert on the telly yesterday. His message was pretty clear. Anyone who wants to invest in business in Asia should consider China, India or Korea. He didn't hold out much hope for business interests in other countries and he actually singled out Thailand as an example of a country where people should definitely NOT invest.

    I'm not a finance buff, but it was to do with foreign exchange and currency controls.
    The truth is out there, but then I'm stuck in here.

  4. #4
    ding ding ding
    Spin's Avatar
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    dont invest in any of the 3 "B"s

    Buildings
    Business
    Bitches

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
    Whiteshiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helicopter View Post
    dont invest in any of the 3 "B"s

    Buildings
    Business
    Bitches
    How about an investment that combines the all three:

    Beer bars!!!!!

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