Sharp baht rise only temporary
says Finance Minister
Finance Minister Chalongphob Sussangkarn said the baht
appreciation to the strongest level in a decade would proceed only in a
short run since it was driven by a foreign capital influx into the stock
He said the continued baht rise is not worrying. It is a duty of the Bank of
Thailand to supervise its movement.
He also viewed the short-term repurchase rate is lowest at present. However,
it depended on whether the Monetary Policy Committee would decide to adjust
it at the next meeting on July 18.
Meanwhile, the baht continued to hit a new record high last Thursday while
trading on the Stock Exchange of Thailand experienced a heavy profit-taking
by investors with the composite index dropping to stay in a negative
A money dealer said the baht strengthened to 34.1 to the US dollar, the
strongest in a decade, at the opening bell.
It is expected the currency would further appreciate and stay at around 33
to the dollar by the end of this year since foreign capital continued to
flow into Asia in a large amount.
The dealer said the US economy is projected to run into trouble. So, it is
likely the US Federal Reserve would further cut key interest rates, which
could make the greenback further weaken against other currencies.
Foreign investors have accumulated Thai stocks with a net buying of more
than 100 billion baht since early this year. TNA
Hearings for Thaksin’s siblings postponed
A sub-committee of Thailand’s anti-corruption Assets
Examination Committee (AEC) which is currently probing into missing profits
of Shin Corp. share sale to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings in January 2006 has
allowed two children of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to postpone
their testimony on charges laid against them.
AEC spokesman Sak Korsaengruang told a press conference that the
sub-committee held a meeting last week and agreed on allowing Mr. Thaksin’s
son Panthongtae Shinawatra to testify to the sub-committee on July 18 at
9.30 am. The postponement was made after the accused said he was ill and
sent a medical certificate requesting that his appearance be delayed as he
was unable to testify.
Regarding Thaksin daughter Ms. Pinthongta, who earlier said she was unable
to travel to Thailand and testify because she had to sit for a university
examination in England, Mr. Sak said the subcommittee had decided to
postpone its hearing to August 24 at 10 am.
The AEC earlier asked the Revenue Department demand a corporate tax
collection of Bt20.89 billion (US$616 million) from the offshore company
Ample Rich Investments, saying that the two children of Mr. Thaksin were
liable for the tax since both were company directors at the time of the
The sub-committee found that Ample Rich had earned income from the Shin Corp
share sale, dividends and profits, and must pay taxes on the transaction
since it conducted its business in Thailand, despite being an offshore
company registered elsewhere.
AEC had earlier concluded that Mr. Panthongtae and Ms. Pinthongta were
liable for tax on a transaction last year in which the two bought 329.2
million Shin Corp shares from Ample Rich for one baht each and sold them the
next day to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings for Bt49.25 each.
Ample Rich is a holding company set up by Mr. Thaksin in the British Virgin
Islands. The AEC said the company was established as part of a scheme to
avoid paying taxes on the sale. It was only discovered after the sale that
both Panthongtae and Pinthongta were owners of the firm.
AEC member Kaewsan Athipho has said the committee ruled Mr. Panthongtae and
Ms. Pinthongta intended to evade taxes by selling the shares indirectly.
Both registered the firm overseas but conducted business in Thailand. So,
they must pay taxes like other corporations, Mr. Kaewsan said. TNA