Five tipped to lead THAI comeback

Five tipped to lead THAI comeback

Vichit Suraphongchai, chairman of Siam Commercial Bank's board, is one of the five leading businessmen expected to be nominated as administrators of a rehabilitation plan for Thai Airways International Plc. (Bangkok Post photo)
Vichit Suraphongchai, chairman of Siam Commercial Bank's board, is one of the five leading businessmen expected to be nominated as administrators of a rehabilitation plan for Thai Airways International Plc. (Bangkok Post photo)

Five leading businessmen are expected to be nominated as administrators of a rehabilitation plan for debt-ridden Thai Airways International (THAI) which has now lost its state enterprise status, a source at the national carrier said.

They are Chumpol Na Lamlieng, former president of Siam Cement Group; Vichit Suraphongchai, chairman of Siam Commercial Bank's board; Banthoon Lamsam, chairman emeritus of Kasikornbank; former PTT president and chief executive Prasert Bunsumpun; and Chainoi Puankosoom, former president and chief executive of PTT Aromatics and Refinery, the source said.

The list of the nominees must be presented for consideration by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who chairs the State Enterprise Policy Committee (SEPC) before being forwarded to the Central Bankruptcy Court this week, otherwise, he said, the risk was that someone may buy THAI at a low price.

The source also said that a member of the SEPC remarked the THAI board should not propose itself as the administrator of the rehab plan due to its poor handling of the carrier's management, adding the government must hire professionals from abroad to become rehab planners.

The SEPC member also said the head of the rehab administration team must be knowledgeable about aviation businesses, according to the source.

The source also said creditors of THAI have called on Gen Prayut to find replacements for the current THAI board members and insisted that the military top-brass should no longer sit on the board.

THAI lost its state enterprise status after the Finance Ministry sold off a 3.17% stake in the national carrier to the Vayupak 1 Fund on Friday.


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