Corporate governance in the Thai capital market is in the spotlight again amid reports linking the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission to an alleged hostile takeover attempt by a group of investors in the country’s largest dry bulk shipper.
Vijit Supinit’s name surfaced last Thursday when the chief executive of Thoresen Thai Agencies (TTA) called a news conference to respond to market rumours that TTA might be in play.
TTA claimed that Dr Vijit was part of a trio that also included Bee Taechaubol, a former executive of Country Group Securities, and Weera Manakongtreecheep, the former president of the defunct Sitca Finance and Securities.
Mr Bee confirmed that he attended a meeting with TTA executives, at which Dr Vijit was also present, but he disputes TTA’s account of what was discussed.
Dr Vijit, 70, is due to finish his term at the SEC on July 13. Over his long career he has also served as a governor of the Bank of Thailand in the 1990s, and later was chairman of the Stock Exchange of Thailand. He also has been the chairman of SET-listed G Steel Plc since 2006.
News reports have stated that the dissident investor group wants Dr Vijit to become the TTA chairman if its attempts to force changes at the underperforming shipping company succeed.
Thailand’s Corporate GovernanceCG ranking has significantly improved this year, according to a recently released survey by the Asian Corporate Governance Association or ACGA, an independent organisation that works with companies, investors, and regulators throughout Asia.
According to Thai News Agency TNA, Thailand came fourth comparatively out of eleven Asian markets in the quality of corporate governance. This was a vast improvement from the ACGA’s previous survey conducted in 2007 in which the Kingdom ranked eighth.
Singapore topped the list, followed by Hong Kong and Japan.
Asia can lead the world to more balanced, equitable, and sustainable growth if it confronts its medium- and long-term challenges “with purpose and passion,” Asian Development Bank ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda told the opening session of the 44th ADB Annual Meeting in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.
In an address entitled “Asia’s Future: Regional Challenges, Global Responsibilities,” Mr. Kuroda said that the Asia and Pacific region emerged swiftly from the global economic crisis and must now tackle the large, ongoing challenges of poverty, inequality, rapid urbanization, environmental degradation, and climate change. While Asia’s economy has grown rapidly for several decades, Mr. Kuroda pointed out that
“It is not just the quantity of growth that matters, but also the quality. Inclusive growth is essential – growth that provides more jobs and increases the quality of life for all our people.
The region cannot prosper, nor achieve its aspirations, if the benefits of growth are not widely shared.”
Mr. Kuroda said five key issues are vital to unlocking the region’s potential.“First and foremost is strong leadership and commitment to good governance.