Satellites

Thailand may buy Shinsat from Temasek

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MUMBAI: Thailand is putting pressure on Singapore to return satellites it acquired as part of a $3.8 billion purchase of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's telecom empire.

Media reports state that Thais are going to the polls to vote if the country's military-led government should buy back the nation's satellite operator Shinsat.

The five satellites are operated by Shin Satellite a unit of Shin which was sold to Singapore's state investment firm Temasek last year.

The Shin sale reports state led to street protests that led to Thaksin's downfall and coup leader Sonthi Boonyaratglin has promised to get the assets back.

Meanwhile nformation and Communications Technology Minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom ghas been quoted in reports saying that Shin Satellite's concessions with the country could be revoked if Temasek is found to have used illegal nominees to buy Shin Corp last year.

Bangkok is also said to be looking at legal options. Temasek executed the Shin deal through a complicated web of Thai holding companies, one of which, Kularb Kaew, may have broken rules against foreign companies using local 'nominees' to skirt a 49 per cent limit on foreign ownership.

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