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Over $500 mn in bank shares transferred on Thai king's behalf

AFP  |  Bangkok 

The financial arm of Thailand's ultra-rich monarchy has transferred worth more than USD 500 million on behalf of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC filing said the Crown Property Bureau, which manages the multi-billion dollar assets of the royal family, had reduced its in Siam Commercial by 3.33 percent on October 2.

That stake is worth 16.9 billion baht (USD 505 million) based on yesterday's closing share price of 151 baht.

The beneficiary of the was not specified but the move was carried out on the King's behalf, the filing said.

The CPB, who now has a 18.14 per cent stake in the bank, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The opaque agency does not declare its wealth but analysts estimate it manages between USD 30-60 billion in assets, making Thai royals among the richest in the world.

The CPB's financial portfolio ranges from massive property ownership to in major companies, such as Siam Commercial and Siam Cement Company.

Like all things regarding Thailand's secrecy-shrouded monarchy, scrutiny of the CPB is curbed by a draconian defamation law that shields the royal family from criticism.

The transfers come after legal amendments passed in July gave King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who took the throne one year ago after the death of his father, direct control over a committee that oversees the CPB.

Under the previous law, the committee's chairman was the finance minister, a move meant to ensure some semblance of government oversight.

The move was the latest in a series of steps by the new monarch to consolidate his control over the palace bureaucracy.

All media based in Thailand must self-censor when reporting on the monarchy to avoid violating the lese majeste law.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, October 07 2017. 11:48 IST