Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Thailand Looking Shaky

There seems to be a sense of innocence among the new government of Thailand. Maybe its because they were largely from the military. You had a boo-boo by people at Bank of Thailand, which nearly collapsed the country's financial markets - OK, it was not the new government's direct fault. Reversal of the equity investment ruling for foreign funds was swift and applauded. Then the bombings from the south moved to Bangkok and Chiangmai.

The government came out saying they probably won't be able to find out the mastermind behind the new slate of bombings. Pretty naive, even if that is true, you can discuss about it in private not communicate that in public. Public confidence is important.

While all that is happening, foreign investors are preparing for a new blow: the possibility they will be forced to divest themselves of shareholdings in Thailand-based companies. Foreign business leaders say they are worried about recently disclosed plans by the military-installed government here to review the way foreign-owned businesses can operate in the country. Proposed changes, they say, could outlaw the practice whereby some businesses circumvent foreign-ownership restrictions by using Thai citizens to hold nominal legal control of companies while foreigners retain majority voting rights. If the law is changed -- and the Thai cabinet is scheduled to consider it as soon as today -- foreigners might be prevented from using local nominees that effectively enable the non-Thai investors to retain majority control of their companies. Currently, Thailand restricts foreigners from maintaining direct majority control in several important sectors, including telecommunications and retailing. (WSJ)

Not good, not good at all. The new government does not seem to have a handle on things, too many things happening all at once and the leaders are pulled in all directions - need real leaders, managers and politicians - not so easy la... a lot of things they don't teach you at military school.


doraiddd said...

Forgive them. They're only just conducting post mortem exorcism. One word - shincorp. Another - surin uppatkoon. Both of corrs lead south. Even us, we're not immune to infiltration. However, being non-UMNO, i see that as poetic justice. AMBIL SAJA-LAH!

doraiddd said...
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