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Rule would ban GPF manager from buying shares



The Finance Ministry is assessing whether to impose a rule prohibiting the manager of the Government Pension Fund from buying shares for his own benefit.

Finance Ministry permanent secretary Sathit Limpongpan yesterday said the ministry might have to change the regulations regarding management of the GPF.

"We have to impose a rule prohibiting the GPF secretary-general from buying stocks," said Sathit, who chairs the GPF board.

His comments came after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suggested a charge of insider trading could not be applied in the case of former GPF secretary-general Visit Tantisunthorn, who bought shares in a company knowing the GPF was to buy a stake. Critics said Visit violated SEC insider-trading rules by acting on advance knowledge of what shares the GPF planned to buy.

Visit later resigned after the board set up a panel to investigate him and some GPF managers. He was also under investigation by independent counter-corruption agencies over corruption allegations.

The GPF's board is now seeking a new secretary-general for the fund, and Civil Service Commission secretary-general Preecha Vajrabhaya is responsible for organising the selection process.

Sathit said Preecha would hire consulting firm PA Balance next week to assist the board in recruiting the new secretary-general. The firm will have 30 days in which to propose candidates to the GPF's board.

Potential candidates must meet two key criteria: specialise in asset management and communication with GPF members; and be senior-level civil servants, police or military.

He said the former secretary-general had failed to give adequate information about asset management to members.



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