Shares in Thai state firms fall on fears of boardroom upheaval
By Viparat Jantraprap
BANGKOK May 27 (Reuters) - Shares in some Thai state-owned companies fell on Tuesday, in contrast to a rise in the main index, amid concerns that top executives could be fired and boardroom policies altered after the government was toppled by the military last week.
Thailand's biggest energy firm, PTT, was among the worst hit as worries grew over possible changes after the military government issued a series of orders transferring senior government officials.
PTT stocks, which suffered their biggest drop in almost three months on Monday with a loss of 2.6 percent, fell as much as 1.35 percent at one stage. PTT finished down 0.7 percent, while the main SET index rose 0.3 percent.
PTT is 51.1 percent owned by the finance ministry. The firm's board chairman is Panpre Mahittananukorn, a former member of Puea Thai, the main party in the ousted government.
Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary Rangsan Sriworasat, who is acting as finance minister under the ruling military council, denied any plan to change PTT's board at this stage.
"PTT is a listed company and a board change will need approval from shareholders. Although the finance ministry is a major shareholder of PTT, it still needs to call a shareholders meeting," he told reporters.
Shares in airport operator Airports of Thailand - which could also suffer from a drop in foreign visitors because of the coup - fell almost 1 percent at one point to their lowest in more than three months after a drop of more than 2 percent on Monday. The stock closed down 0.3 percent.
The company is 70 percent owned by the finance ministry and its board chairman, Sita Divari, is also a former member of Puea Thai. Continuación...