The recent arrest of Italian-Thai Development (ITD) president Premchai Karnasuta for alleged poaching appears to be affecting potential investments in his firm, which is one of Thailand’s largest construction companies.
“It is confirmed that the corporate governance fund will not be invested in the shares of Italian-Thai Development,” said Worawan Tharapoom, president of the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organisations.
She added that the members of asset management companies would discuss the Premchai issue, which could be a case study on good governance.
Premchai is accused of poaching endangered animals in Thung Yai Wildlife Sanctuary after his arrest at the weekend.
However, Kesara Manchusee, president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said Premchai’s arrest could not be considered a fault under the Securities and Exchange Act, which stipulated that corruption findings against the chief executives of listed companies depended on Supreme Court verdicts.
“In the case of Premchai, we should look at the good governance and business ethics of Italian-Thai Development, which has already announced in its code of conduct for this year that the company would not doing anything that would negatively impact the country’s natural resources and environment,” Kesara said.
“The Thai Institute of Directors last year awarded four-star scores for good corporate governance to Italian-Thai Development.
“Such awards should be reviewed regarding the facts. If Premchai is actually found guilty, it is the responsibility of the company’s board of directors to consider the issue carefully and appropriately as they will be pressured and investigated by society,” she added.