Thaksin Profits from PTT, Thais Left in Permanent Disadvantage
Looking back 17 years ago in 2001, a new company by the name of Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) was gathering funds through the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). Today, PTT has a total market cap of 14.7 trillion baht ($446.3 billion) and is recognized across the globe.
The importance of this event was former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s executive decision to transform Thai petroleum from a state enterprise to a public company in accordance to the State Enterprise Capital Act 1999.
PTT’s price per share for its IPO was only priced at 35 baht per share, which is considered extremely cheap for its potential for growth.
The release of the IPOs were widely criticized as investors claimed that the shares were locked through nominees who were only releasing them to certain individuals, and the entire sales of PTT’s IPOs took only 1 minute and 17 seconds.
Many people viewed it as a criminal act, not only restricting the general public from having a share in the company but passively pocketing Thailand’s national asset to their own names. The move faced further backlash when PTT was incapable of controlling oil prices, causing the Thai people to pay more than they should ever since.
It comes to no surprise that there are still protests for PTT to be returned as a state enterprise.
Not only do the Thai people now have to carry the burden of hiked oil prices, but the hike itself continues to bring prosperity and significant profits for those who were selectively given the opportunity to be a shareholder of PTT under Thaksin Shinawatra.
Placing Thaksin’s own people on the executive side of PTT through the locked shares is not the only aspect of this high-level scandal. PTT has also monopolized other forms of petroleum such as NGV, LPG, biodiesel, ethanol, E20 and E85.
The leaders of Thailand’s oil and gas conglomerate PTT are all but familiar companies in the Thai community. This includes companies under the Shinawatra family, Thai Beverage, Singaporean bigwigs Temasek Holdings and many more.
Thailand’s oil and gas industry has been stolen from the Thai people. There is no denying that it currently operates as a cartel filled with extremely powerful people, and it was led by none other than the infamous Thaksin Shinawatra.