SEC probes THG vaccine mystery
Clarity demanded in Pfizer import fiasco
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday ordered Thonburi Healthcare Group (THG) and its chairman Boon Vanasin to clarify certain facts within seven days regarding his recently scrapped plans to import Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines into Thailand.
Financial analysts are now warning investors to be wary of buying shares in THG, due to high price volatility over the past few weeks and the possibility of an investigation into the company by the markets regulator.
THG's share price on Wednesday plunged 8.13% to close at 28.25 baht, with trade worth 200.49 million baht.
The regulator has asked THG and Dr Boon to clarify reasons and facts regarding his failure to procure Pfizer vaccines as promised.
Dr Boon had told the media on August 3 that the company planned to sign a contract to import 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence "within the week" when the news was published.
On the same day, the Defence Ministry's spokesman denied the news and confirmed that the Ministry and its affiliates currently have no plans or agreements with any private agency to purchase or import the Pfizer vaccines.
However, Dr Boon claimed he has lost 500-600 million baht of deposit due to the company's breach of contract terms, suggesting the existence of a contract.
The regulator believes that such facts are contradictory. It said they may affect the rights of the shareholders or their investment decisions and cause confusion and the company's share price to make unusual moves.
"The SEC therefore, by virtue of Section 58  and  of the Securities and Exchange Act, asked THG and Dr Boon to clarify the relevant information within seven days from August 4, as well as provide the explanation through the SET's [Stock Exchange of Thailand] electronic system," stated the SEC.
The SEC has issued two letters to Dr Boon and the chief executive of THG to clarify the matter.
Meanwhile, the SET on Wednesday urged investors to be cautious when making an investment in THG.
Piyapat Patarapuvadol, an analyst at Yuanta Securities, said THG's price had been fluctuating greatly following news of the vaccine import.
"The SEC is still investigating if the THG share price has been speculated," he said. "Therefore, investors should be cautious about investing in the stock during this period. If any negative news regarding the stock comes out, it can result in losses."