Thai TPI Polene delays refinancing after huge fines

Thai TPI Polene delays refinancing after huge fines
Published: 06 December 2007

TPI Polene, Thailand’s third largest cement firm, said on Thursday it had delayed a plan to refinance around 8bn baht (US$264m) of debt to next year after a court imposed huge fines for stock manipulation.

"We expect to complete refinancing our debt next year instead of this year," company director Prachai Leophairatana told Reuters.

The delay was due mainly to a 6.9bn baht fine imposed early this week said Prachai, who was sentenced to three years in jail after he and the firm were found guilty of stock manipulation in 2004.

The company had not decided whether it set aside money for the fines in the fourth quarter, he said. TPI Polene was founded by the Leophairatana family, which now owns a 55 per cent stake.

It would post a net loss in the fourth quarter if it set aside money for the fine and would not be able to pay an interim dividend, analysts said.

At the midday break, TPI Polene shares wwere down 14.59 per cent at 7.90 baht, their lowest since April 1999. The shares tumbled as much as 30 per cent on Tuesday.