16-Feb-2010 10:29 AM

Thai Government not planning to reduce Thai Airways stake, but may consider it in long term

Thai Finance Minister, Korn Chatikavanij, denied the Thai Government plans to reduce its majority, 51% stake in Thai Airways, but stated the move may be a possibility in the long term (Reuters, 16-Feb-2010). The comments came following news reports the government was considering a reduction in its stake, to change the carrier’s status as a state enterprise (Bangkok Post, 15-Feb-2010). Transport Minister, Sohpon Zarum, stated he was opposed to plans to sell some of the government’s stake to private investors, as Thai is a "national carrier and part of the country’s image". The Transport Ministry has requested the Finance Ministry inject a further USD301 million into the carrier as part of Thai’s rights issue.

Thai Government: “There is still no change. Thai Air is required by current loan obligations to maintain the Finance Ministry's minimum 51% stake. But in the long term, if Thai Air manages to survive and prospers to the extent of standing by itself, then the Ministry should scale back its role like that in other state enterprises in order to stop putting tax money at risk,” Korn Chatikavanij, Finance Minister. Source: Reuters, 16-Feb-2010.

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