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Ministry reduces stake in Thai Airways International

Ministry reduces stake in Thai Airways International

Thailand's Ministry of Finance on Friday reduced its shareholding in Thai Airways International (THAI) to lower than 50 per cent by disposing 3.17 per cent to Vayupak Fund 1, according to a THAI filing with the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) on Monday.

However, the ministry is still a major THAI shareholder, with 47.86 per cent of the airline’s shares, down from 51.03 per cent previously.

THAI has lost its state enterprise status under relevant laws after this share reduction, said the company. It currently has outstanding debts worth 200 billion baht ($6.3 billion).

The government-controlled Vayupak Funds, named after a mythical bird that lays golden eggs, were launched in 2003 by the Thaksin government to raise funds directly from the public by investing in state-held listed companies. The finance ministry is currently the mutual fund’s biggest shareholder.

The Cabinet recently approved the Ministry of Transport’s proposal that THAI enter bankruptcy rehabilitation under court supervision.

At its extraordinary board meeting on Monday, Thai appointed four new directors, effective immediately, according to its filing to the SET.

Among them is former THAI president, Piyasvasti Amranand, who replaced Sirikul Laukaikul as a board member.

Another is Pailin Chuchottaworn, the former CEO of state-owned SET-listed oil and gas company PTT PCL, who replaced Pratana Mongkolkul.

The other two are Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, replacing Pitipan Tepartimargorn, and Boontuck Wuncharoen, replacing Pinit Puapan.

THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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