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Minister to brief foreign investors


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Extracted from the Bangkok Post: Bangkok Post


Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula said he will meet this morning with foreign business representatives in Thailand to explain the amendments to foreign business ownership rules in Thailand which were endorsed by the Cabinet Tuesday.


Cabinet approved amendments to the Foreign Business Act imposing a strict 50-per cent cap on foreign investment and voting rights in companies operating in Thailand.


Share prices dropped by 2.69 per cent as foreign investor confidence fell in response to another blow from government after the Cabinet acted to roll back foreign business procedures which had come to be accepted over time.


The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) composite index lost 17.07 points, falling to 616.75, while the bluechip SET 50 index shed 12.44 points to close at 428.73 .


On Monday, foreign businessmen said they opposed the measure on the basis that the new rules would undermine investor confidence and may trigger withdrawal of foreign investment activities from Thailand.


Depending on the sectors in which they operate, foreign investors will be given one to two years to reduce their ownership and voting rights in compliance with the new regulations.


Speaking after the Cabinet meeting, Pridiyathorn said he believed the amendments would bring more clarity and thereby greater confidence in Thailand's investment climate.


He said the session on Wednesday will provide a forum for those concerned to raise questions which he will answer.


The finance minister said the amendments approved by the Cabinet Tuesday remain subject to further scrutiny by the National Legislative Assembly which may alter certain details. (TNA)

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