Singapore's Temasek Holdings Looking to Sell Thai Mobile Network Stake
Published on: 18th Feb 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Singapore's government investment company Temasek Holdings is reportedly looking to end its controversial investment in Thailand and sell its stake in the local mobile network.
However, the sale may be just a tidying up exercise, as the rumoured buyer could be Singapore's Singtel, which happens to be controlled by Temasek Holdings.
Temasek Holdings owns 41.6 percent of Thailand's Shin Corp -- which owns the AIS mobile network -- through a controversial deal in 2006 that was in-part the cause of the downfall of the government and the subsequent political turmoil that has troubled the country ever since.
The then Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra sold his family holding in the mobile network for US$1/88 billion at the end of January 2006. However, the transaction sparked protests against the already unpopular politician when allegations emerged that the deal was structured in a tax-efficient manner to reduce the Prime Minister's tax bill.
The scandal lead to two government resignations, and ultimately to the resignation of the Prime Minister.
There were also oft-denied allegations that Temasek Holdings stake in the company is actually higher than the stated 41.6 percent and may breach the country's limit of 49% being held by a foreign investor.
On the web: Reuters