Knock ! Knock ! Who is back ? The Foreign Business Act of course !
This famous Thai Saga (between the Benny Hill Show and Monthy Python) continues to excite the politicians. It’s a never ending story. Here is the latest episode.
The department will stringently investigate some 40,000 companies that have foreign shareholdings of from 40-49 per cent for possible violations of the FBA.
The department will randomly investigate them to make sure that no foreign investors have taken advantage of any loophole in the act to hold more than 49 per cent in firms on the protected list.
Asked about an investigation of whether 12 companies had breached the act as alleged in complaints to the ministry since 2006 , Kanissorn said some cases had been passed to the police for withholding evidence.
Twelve firms under investigation are UCOM, BoleroTak Wu Holdings, Telenor, Hutchison CAT Wireless Multimedia, Asia Aviation (Thai Air Asia), Thai Sky Airline, Cen Car (Carrefour), EkChai Distribution System (TescoLotus), Siam City Cement, DHL Logistics (Thailand), event organiser Izumi Zenkosha (Thailand), and real estate agent Burapa Lumpini Land. (Nation)
The Junta started in 2006 an inane amendement process of the law (read my special dossier here) before to back off. Humiliated.
This story of the “40 000 companies to be investigated” is not new.
In september 2007, they’ve made a similar announcement.
“The Business Development Department is in the process of inspecting as many as 40,000 companies to see if they have used nominee structures to hold shares for foreign investors _ a practice prohibited by the Foreign Business Act. (read my article)
It came just after the decision from the government to withdraw the amendement… Face saving exercise I asked at that time.
So one year later they start again, even though it’s a new government. Who is going to believe them ?
That’s the problem with the Thai Dramas. Eventually, they lost all credibility…
As to repeat that Carrefour, Lotus and DHL are still under investigation (since 2006 !)… it’s of course laughable…
They just can’t attack 3 MAJOR international companies (even though in Thailand they use local… “partners”).
The thai government should understand this, and stop making ridicule of itself.
It becomes… embarrasing.