Singapore Media Watch

Thursday, October 12, 2006

S'pore urges talks to save Shin buyout - The NATION

Worried Temasek ready to pay fine and reduce holding in telecom firm to 49%

A top-level official in Singapore has approached Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont to discuss the controversial Shin Corp deal in the hope of resolving ownership issues in an amicable manner, a government source said yesterday.

Surayud is likely to assign his deputy MR Pridiyathorn Devakula, who is also the finance minister, to look into the matter, the source said.

"One likely recommendation from the Thai government is that Temasek Holdings of Singapore should comply with the Thai foreign ownership law by quickly reducing its stake in Shin Corp, which is estimated at 96 per cent, to below 49 per cent," he said.

Temasek got itself into hot water with its Bt140-billion takeover of Shin Corp, which was owned by the Shinawatra and Damapong families.

The Commerce Ministry's Business Registration Department has found that Temasek relied on nominees to skirt a legal ban on foreign companies owning more than 50 per cent of a telecom business. (read more...)


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