NBTC sets 16 July date for foreign ownership review

5 Jul 2012

The board of Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will consider revised draft regulations governing foreign shareholdings for telecoms operators on 16 July. Settapong Malisuwan, chairman of the NBTC telecom committee, said the committee will finalise its review on 15 July before submitting the results to the board the next day, reports the Bangkok Post. Foreign ownership in telecoms operators is currently capped at 49% under the law, although overseas companies circumvent this restriction through nominee shareholding structures; some companies, including cellco DTAC – controlled by Norway’s Telenor – have expressed concern that the new rules, which look beyond simple stakeholdings to issues of foreign management control, could result in legal complications as the NBTC prepares to auction much-delayed 3G licences later this year.