Thai regulator chairman resigns amid governance row

Jun 06, 2011
<p>Financial regulator launches inquiry into whether its board members should be allowed to hold positions at public companies.</p>

The chairman of Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission resigned today following a row over his alleged involvement with a group of activist shareholders.

Vijit Supinit stood down following the claim that he and several other people approached shipping company Thoresen Thai Agencies, calling for changes to its strategy and board.

The claim was made by Thoresen’s CEO Chandchutha Chandratat, who says the shareholders proposed that Supinit become the shipping company’s new chairman.

According to media reports, Supinit resigned following a protest at the offices of Thai's securities regulator, where staff had threatened to launch a petition calling for him to go. He was due to stand down from his position next month.

In response to the row, the commission has launched an inquiry to consider changes to its code of conduct and whether its board members should be prohibited from holding positions at public companies.

The story has raised questions about the governance practices at Thailand’s capital markets regulator.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Jamie Allen, secretary general of the Asian Corporate Governance Association, called the situation a ‘black eye’ for Thailand but says it doesn’t ‘completely undermine the progress it has made’.

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