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Thai Airways likely to go private

Aishwarya Gupta

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The Finance Ministry is considering allowing its majority shareholding in Thai Airways International to fall under 50%  in order to change its current status as a state enterprise.

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The SET-listed national carrier is currently 50.1% held by the ministry, and as such must comply with state enterprise regulations. The carrier also has the right to ask the ministry to guarantee its loans, helping THAI reduce its funding costs by leveraging the credit of the government.

Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said the ministry was considering allowing private investors to hold a greater stake in THAI to help transform its status as a state enterprise, as well as reduce the government’s financial obligations.

He did not elaborate on whether the ministry would divest shares through a public offering or private placement. Alternatively, it could see its stake diluted if THAI issued new capital directly to private investors.

In any case, a change is unlikely in the short term. A number of THAI’s aircraft procurement deals stipulate the ministry as a guarantor of its debt and also contain covenants obligating the ministry to maintain a majority shareholding.

Full privatisation as a result would likely have to wait until THAI improves its financial position and debt structure.

Mr Korn played down questions of whether a privatisation would antagonise THAI's militant unions, arguing a change would actually result in a stronger, more competitive airline to benefit customers and employees alike.

From a policy perspective, privatising THAI would eliminate any obligations on the government to tap taxpayer funds to assist the airline in the future.

Greater private-sector participation could also help THAI improve its operations and efficiency.

via THAI likely to fly solo.

Corporate

The 3 key barriers to remote working (and how to overcome them)

COVID-19 created the world’s largest remote working experiment and, for many, showed just how possible it was for employees to do their jobs without being at the office.

Daniel Lorenzzo

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Following the real-world experiment with remote working, it’s time for business leaders to re-examine their previous misgivings, and explore how to adopt flexible working in the long term

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Corporate

Digital transformation: what will be the long‑term effect of Covid‑19?

For many businesses, the Covid-19 pandemic was the catalyst for their organisational caterpillar to evolve toward digital transformation. Yet following the crisis, it remains to be seen which companies will emerge with wings – and which will simply be crawling along slightly faster than before.

Daniel Lorenzzo

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The outbreak of Covid-19 forced the rapid adoption of remote working practices and an acknowledgment of the importance of digital transformation. Following the pandemic, what will the lasting impact be?

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Corporate

Fitch Ratings Expects Improvement of Thai Corporates’ Credit Outlook

Fitch said the outlook for the food retail sector in 2021 would remain stable as earnings rebound, while the outlook for the building material and power & utilities sectors to be stable in the coming years.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The credit rating agency Fitch Ratings expects Thai corporates’ credit outlook to improve this year as vaccination is rolled out and economic activity recovers.

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