General Sonthi aims to reclaim Shin, AIS ‘for the country’

16 Feb 2007

Thai coup leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin has announced that he wants to reverse the Singaporean state investment company Temasek’s USD3.8 billion takeover of domestic conglomerate Shin Corp. Shin was founded by Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister ousted by last year’s bloodless coup, and includes communications assets such as satellite monopoly Shin Satellite and the country’s mobile market leader, Advanced Info Services (AIS). ‘I want my belongings back, especially the satellites,’ General Sonthi said in a speech on patriotism,’ adding that: ‘I am looking at the country’s assets and resources which have been bought by Singapore.’ Gen Sonthi also accused Thaksin of compromising national security by selling communications infrastructure. Thaksin’s family received USD1.9 billion in tax free proceeds for the sale of its controlling stake in Shin, completed last year.