Thailand’s SEC charges

Thailand’s SEC charges
Published: 06 August 2004

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a criminal complaint against Prachai Leophairatana, Stern Stewart (Thailand) and TPI Polene Plc for the alleged disclosure of false information regarding the cement company’s share price on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.  The complaint was filed with police investigators yesterday.

The SEC accused Mr Prachai, as the debt rehabilitation plan administrator for TPI Polene, and consultancy Stern Stewart of disseminating information leading to speculation that TPIPL’s share price would rise while failing to make proper disclosures to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.  TPIPL was charged with disseminating information that had failed to be stipulated in the company’s prospectus.

The SEC said that on Dec 15 and 16 last year, a period during which TPIPL was awaiting regulatory approval to make a public offering of shares, Mr Prachai acknowledged or was aware of a news report relating to a Stern Stewart asset valuation of TPIPL at 91.3 billion baht.  The valuation placed the share value for TPIPL at 89 baht each, compared with a market value at the time of 46 baht.

"The SEC sees that this information might have led investors to believe that TPIPL share prices would rise, and was not properly disseminated to the SET," an SEC statement said.  Share prices of TPIPL closed yesterday on the SET at 28 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 165 million baht.