InTouch declares it is no longer a Shinawatra company

national February 21, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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InTouch, a listed telecommunications company, insisted yesterday that it was no longer owned by the Shinawatra clan and that it was in no way involved in the conflict between Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government and the protesters.

The Shinawatra family, who founded the firm, sold their shares in the group several years ago, InTouch said in a statement.
Suthep Thaugsuban, leader of the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), has launched a boycott of all goods and products offered by businesses owned by the Shinawatra clan as well as the families of several key government figures. Suthep has also been calling on people holding shares in Shinawatra-owned or affiliated companies to sell off en masse. 
InTouch’s flagship holdings are Advanced Info Service (AIS), Thailand’s largest cellular provider, and satellite operator Thaicom.
Chanitr Charnchainarong, executive vice president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand as well chief of the issuing and listing division, yesterday warned investors to study a company’s fundamentals and valuation before selling off, otherwise they might lose good earning opportunities. 
The InTouch group’s market capitalisation of more than Bt900 billion accounts for a full 8 per cent of the SET’s market capitalisation. 
The company’s share price dropped by 2.03 per cent yesterday to close at Bt72.25, while that of AIS plunged 2.76 per cent to Bt211. Thaicom dipped 1.25 per cent to close at Bt39.50.
Former PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s family established the Shinawatra Computer Service and Investment Co in 1983 to supply and lease mini and mainframe computers. The company then changed its name to Shin Corporation in 1999 and then to InTouch in 2011. 
The family sold its 49.6-per-cent stake in Shin Corp in January 2006 to a group led by Singapore’s state investment arm Temasek Holdings. The Temasek-led group later increased its interest in InTouch to more than 96 per cent. 
As of August last year, Aspen Holdings – which is controlled by Temasek – owned 41.62 per cent of InTouch and InTouch owned 40.45 per cent of AIS as of last August and 41.14 per cent of Thaicom as of last April. Real-estate developer SC Asset appears to be a business of the Shinawatra family. 
As of last May, Thaksin’s two daughters Paetongtarn and Pintongta owned 29.13 per cent and 28.19 per cent respectively. Thaksin’s brother-in-law Bhanapot Damapong owned 4.82 per cent, while Thaksin’s ex-wife Pojaman na Pombejra held 2.81 per cent.