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Pattaya Daily News

20 June 2010 :: 15:06:55 pm 26139

THAICOM Satellite Acquisition a Matter of National Security

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva revealed that Thailand’s Ministry of Finance is urgently seeking to reacquire the THAICOM satellite from Singapore-based Temasek Holdings, citing national security concerns.
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Bangkok, the 19th of June 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Premier Abhisit this week stated that the Thai government was presently in talks with Temasek regarding the purchase of Thailand’s only communications satellite, revealing national security concerns as the major influence behind the deal.

PM Abhisit revealed that the reacquisition of the THAICOM satellite is highly likely, assuring that any deal would be done in a transparent manner in terms of price and various other conditions. “The length of time it will take to finalise a deal depended solely on the Finance Ministry,” stated Abhisit.

“Looking back to the time when Temasek bought Shin Corp shares, it notified the public and the Stock Exchange of Thailand that it had no intention to buy the satellite,” Abhisit said. “Therefore we are considering this issue, and the finance ministry is now negotiating with the company,” reported the Thai National News Agency.

Reiterating national security reasons, Abhisit revealed that the purchase of THAICOM back from Temasek Holdings, a Singaporean government related corporation, was highly likely, further stating a decision on who will manage the operation will be decided on completion of the deal.

Reportedly, Finance Minister Jorn Chatikavanich has recently visited Singapore to discuss the issue with the officials concerned. Despite various media reports that the government will spend up to Bt5 billion to require the satellite, premier Abhisit maintained that he had yet to consider the figures involved with the deal.

Temasek Holdings acquired Thailand’s sole communications satellite following the purchase of Shin Corp in 2006. Shin Corp was the family owned and operated business of now fugitive ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The telecommunications firm also owns Thaicom Public Company Limited, founded in 1991 with an exclusive 30-year concession to operate the THAICOM satellite. The concession will expire in 2021.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Business News

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