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Thaksin Sells Shin Corp Stake For Bt80 Billion


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SHIN TAKEOVER: Thaksin: I went there to shop

Premier remains mum but impish as rumours fly about a done deal in Singapore. Prime Minister Thak-sin Shinawatra claimed yesterday he took his family to Singapore during the New Year only to shop, amid intensifying speculation that his family and allies were selling their stakes in Shin Corp Plc to Singapore's Temasak Holdings. Latest reports on such a deal have sent the company's shares rising.

Thaksin said he had not held talks with Temasek while in Singapore early this month, as reported. "People can write what they want, but I did not meet or talk business with anyone. I spent my time shopping, at McDonald's restaurants and at hotels," he told reporters.

The premier and his family spent the New Year holiday in Singapore until January 4.

However, Thaksin did not deny outright that his family would sell its stake. When asked about this, he gave reporters a mischievous smile. Rumours about the biggest take-over in Thai history have affected Shin Corp share prices, and critics have frowned upon the stock market authorities for their conspicuous silence.

Thaksin's sister Yingluck, president of Shin's flagship business Advanced Info Service Plc, yesterday also declined to comment.

"I don't know any details of that," she said, without flatly denying the news.

Meanwhile, after flatly denying the takeover rumours in two filings to the Stock Exchange of Thailand last month, Shin said in filing yesterday simply that it had not received any information from the major shareholder concerning the report that its major shareholder would dispose of its shares to Singapore's Temasek.

"The company would like to state that it has not received any information concerning this matter from the major shareholder," Shin said.

A source in the Shin Group told The Nation that a high-ranking executive at Shin was inspecting the contract.

The Shinawatra and Damapong families own a combined 49.6-per-cent share in Shin. Bhanpot Dama-pong is the elder brother of Thaksin's wife, Khunying Pojaman.

The Krungthep Turakij Thai-language daily reported that the families would sell a 40-per-cent stake in Shin to Singapore's state investment arm in a deal worth Bt80 billion.

When asked about the deal by The Nation on Thursday, Eva Ho, Temasek's director for corporate communications, said that the company had a policy of not com?menting on media reports or mar?ket speculation.

A source close to Shin said that high-ranking executives of the company were expected to learn some details of the deal on Thursday.

Temasek's existing investments cover a wide range of businesses, from telecoms to financial services, property, pharmaceuticals and bioscience. Shin holds a 42.86-per-cent stake in its flagship company, mobile-phone operator Advanced Info Service Plc (AIS). Temasek controls Singapore Telecom, which holds a 19.26-per-cent stake in AIS and 1.08 per cent of Shin.

With Temasek's financial backing, AIS's leading position in the Thai market could be strengthened.

Thana Tienachariya, chief commercial officer of the country's second largest mobile-phone operator Total Access Communication (DTAC), said that whatever the change in Shin's shareholding structure, DTAC would keep its guard up against AIS.

Share prices of Shin, AIS, Shin Satellite Plc (Sattel) and iTV Plc rallied during trading yesterday on news of the sell-off deal.

Shin peaked at Bt46.25 before profit-taking weakened the stock to Bt45.25 at close, a 1.69-per-cent rise, and was the second most active stock on the day after Thai Petrochemical Industry Plc. AIS jumped to Bt112 before ending the day at Bt108, Bt1 lower than its previous closing. Sattel rose by Bt0.10 to Bt15.10 while iTV shares ended the day unchanged from the previous close of Bt10.80.

Bualuang Securities Plc vice president Pongrat Ratanatavanananda said that the shares had been boosted by reports that the Temasak takeover would be conducted at a price of Bt69 per share.

"But if any investor is deciding whether to invest in Shin or AIS, I would prefer the latter due to the greater upside gain," she said.

The brokerage house targeted Shin and AIS share prices at Bt50 and Bt125 respectively.

Source: The Nation - Jan 14 , 2006

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Thaksin said he had not held talks with Temasek while in Singapore early this month, as reported. "People can write what they want, but I did not meet or talk business with anyone. I spent my time shopping, at McDonald's restaurants and at hotels," he told reporters.

Was it McDonald's that his daughter worked at a few years ago? Is he sponsored by them?! :o:D

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Mobile telephony is very profitable now. AIS self costs for 1 min is 20 Satang, infrastructure in place. After deregulation all the networks will be open for all suppliers and everyone has to accept interconection fees set by the regulator which will eat the profit.eg: AIS has to accept all the calls from Orange etc at a given price. Giants like Orange can dump the prices endlessly because they will be able to use AIS networks and infrastructure for a minimal price. Orange applies real strategies. They do not have to build up all the infrastructure. AIS will also be forced by regulators to provide more capacity which will eat the profit. At the end the newcomers will win. Strange isnt it, this is the game of deregulation.

Talking from real experience. Dont do the same mistakes as stupid Worldcom and many other Telecoms.

Sell now at peak business, be smart :o

Shin peaked at Bt46.25. Rumors will drive the price up.Bualuang Securities Plc vice president Pongrat Ratanatavanananda said that the shares had been boosted by reports that the Temasak takeover would be conducted at a price of Bt69 per share.

Very good timing indeed

However, Thaksin did not deny outright that his family would sell its stake. When asked about this, he gave reporters a mischievous smile :D

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Brilliant self-promoter as well...

post-9005-1137166650_thumb.jpg

Piggy banks bear Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s picture and the motto ‘To be smart, you must be diligent in reading and thinking’. They will be given to children who visit Government House on National Children’s Day tomorrow.

How nice... His face bigger than others on the can. Narcicism at it's best. :o

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I've always said that we should keep an eye on Taksin divesting himself of his holdings. It's a sure sign the Thai economy is going to go south!

I believe you are drawing the right conclusion.

When in Bangkok last week I heard from knowledgeable people that an economic downturn, if not an outright crash, is expected for 2007.

Personally, I thought it would take a year or two longer to happen, but now I wonder.

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Maestro

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Roiet, I don't think you really know what you are talking about - Orange pulled out of Thai market a year or so ago, even if True Corp, part of CP Group, still uses the name. It probably won't survive if not for Mobile-fixed lines-ADSL tie up.

The most interesting poing in the whole story is what Shinawatras are going to do with their money next. Imagine the PM investing a hundred billion baht in an industry of his choice - that's the conflict of interests that even usually docile Thais will find very hard to accept. Energy sector has been metnioned as one possible option - think PTT.

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The most interesting poing in the whole story is what Shinawatras are going to do with their money next.

Skytrain, a.k.a. BTS?

The thought occurred to me when I read this article, i.e. that the buyers mentioned might be intermediaries for You Know Who.

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Maestro

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Plus

I said giants like orange can do.

Did you really follow the liberalization in other countries, Europe etc. The same pattern as I explained. Did you see the results, really. Are you updated about Telecoms ?

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Maybe I've got the wrong end of the stick with this, but how can the shinawatra family 'sell' the Shin corp? They're selling (maybe, maybe not) their 40% stake. Does a 40% stake mean they own the company?

I agree with ovenman, once the opening up/liberalization of the industry gets fully in it's stride, and serious competition comes along, Shin, Dtac, TOT, CAT etc are going to have real problems. At the moment it's a nice, cozy cartel, everyone is making money despite being barely able to tie their shoelaces themselves.

We're beginning to see it now, CAT is starting to scream blue murder because they can see the end of their monopoly on control of the internet here, and the silly money the ISP's have to pay them.

It's gonna get real interesting!

Mr Sierra01 I agree with you 100 percent.

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Shin sell-off ‘in next two weeks’

The Shinawatra clan will in the next two weeks sell off its entire stake in Shin Corp Plc to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings without any buy-back option, sources familiar with the deal said yesterday. “It’s a pure cash deal, not involving a share swap [for Temasek’s shares in Singapore Telecommunications] as earlier reported,” said a source who asked not to be named. Sources said that the deal should be wrapped up by the end of this month at the latest.

Based on Shin stocks latest closing price of Bt45.25, the deal could be worth more than Bt65 billion, inclusive of premiums, making it the biggest takeover deal in Thai history. A source close to the deal earlier estimated the transaction value at Bt80 billion.

The sources said Prime Minister’s Thaksin Shinawatra’s family and his in-laws, the Damapong family, who together hold a 49.61 per cent stake in Shin, wanted to end all connections with the company.

They quoted Thaksin as saying that the deal would eliminate entirely criticisms about conflicts of interest.

“He does not want the money as much as the desire to alienate his family from Shin,” one source added.

Shin’s interests cover a wide range of companies. Besides mobile-phone giant Advanced Info Service (AIS), there is Shin Satellite Plc, iTV Plc, Thai AirAsia Co Ltd and Capital OK Co Ltd.

Another source said there was no option to buy back any businesses held by Shin such as Thai AirAsia or credit company Capital OK.

All executives of Shin and related companies will maintain their positions after the sale and only Thaksin’s youngest sister Yingluck, currently AIS president, will have to move out, the sources said.

“She carries the family name. So to entirely eliminate the political linkage, she is to move to other companies not under Shin’s umbrella,” the source said.

Rumour had it earlier that she would be made president of SC Asset Plc, a listed property company 60.82-per-cent owned by the Shinawatra family. The company got a new president on October 1 last year when Sahat Kittikun replaced Surathien Chakthranont.

As with Shin, the Damapongs are major shareholders of SC Asset along with the Shinawatras. Busaba Damapong, wife of Thaksin’s wife’s elder brother Bhanpot, is the company’s executive chairman.

Sources said Pong Sarasin, former chairman of Thai Pure Drinks and Surathip Group as well as benig a Social Action Party MP, was approached to replace Bhanpot as Shin chairman.

However, top executives at Shin and AIS are fretting about the possibility of personnel changes some time after Temasek takes full control of the group.

Shin’s share price and market capitalisation have more than doubled in the past five years since Thaksin first came to power. Thaksin has constantly been accused of conflicts of interest even though he transferred all his shares in Shin and related companies to his children before taking the prime minister’s post.

Conflicts of interest was one of the issues raised by Sondhi Limthongkul in his weekly public talk on Friday afternoon, which ended with some of his audience marching in protest to Government House that night.

Nearly two months after rumours of the Shin sell-off emerged, Thaksin on Saturday called an urgent dinner meeting with its top executives including CEO Boonklee Plangsiri, apparently to reveal what he planned to do with the country’s largest telecom firm.

Neither Yingluck nor any of the executives present at the dinner could be reached for comment yesterday.

Source: The Nation - January 16, 2006

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The days of easy money in mobile networks are over - it was a growing industry ten years ago with a lot of potential but no more - the market is saturated. Giants, like Orange, burnt their hands when they tried to stick their hands in the cookie jar.

Dtac's owners sold their stake a few months ago, now it's Ais' turn. Interesting, isn't it? What's the connection? Cashing out before big economic crash comes, or just before business turns bad.

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I know it is only a formality given who is selling, but selling 49.1% of a major infrastructure company to a foreign company. Does that need aproval by some authority?

The Thais are not know to like outsiders controling their companies.

In Oz the foreign investment review board would have to aprove such a deal. (It is advised by the govenment.)

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