Pattaya Daily News

15 December 2007 :: 11:12:58 am 22877

Court Rejects Petition To De-List ptt

BANGKOK, Dec 14 – Thailand‘s Supreme Administrative Court on Friday ruled against a petition to de-list PTT Plc, the country‘s largest oil trader, from the Stock Exchange of Thailand, saying that two royal decrees supporting the stock listing of the company do not contradict the law.
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However the court did not rule on the fact that PTT shares were offered at what the plaintiffs termed as unreasonably low prices, causing a massive financial loss to the state. The privitisation was conducted under the administration of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Hearing the verdict, consumer activist Rosana Tositrakul, a co-plaintiff, said it was a significant victory forcing PTT to return control of the pipeline to the state.

However, Ms. Rosana and her colleagues said they will file a new lawsuit seeking to identify the offenders who are subject to both criminal and civil liabilities.

A source said the court read out its finding for over two hours before summarising s verdict on the complaint filed by a group of consumer activists challenging the legitimacy of the PTT privatisation and its listing on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).

The court determined that the Royal Decree Determining Powers, Rights and Benefits of PTT Plc of 2001 and the Royal Decree Determining the Time for Repealing the Laws Governing the Petroleum Authority of Thailand of 2001 could not be revoked as demanded by the group because they were legitimately issued.

However, the court instructed the company to return the rights in expropriated areas and substantial natural gas pipeline assets to the Finance Ministry, although its listed status could be maintained.

“The pipelines are national property that should be returned to the public,” Ms. Rosana said. “The court rejected our request for delisting the company, probably hoping to avoid negative impact on the national economy.”

The pivotal PTT case had drawn much public attention, particularly investors in the stock market, since the court’s decision could have an extensive negative impact on the economy and investor confidence if it turned out in favor of the consumer activists’ petition.

Meanwhile, PTT executives are set to hold a press conference Friday afternoon on what the company will do following the court’s ruling on the case.

Reporter : PDN staff   Category : Business News

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