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CAT, TOT given 3 months for due diligence of assets

Aug 28. 2014
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By Usanee Mongkolporn
The Nation

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CAT Telecom and TOT have been given three months by their boards to complete due diligence of their assets.
Natwut Amornvivat, spokesman for TOT’s board, said yesterday that the board had set the time frame for due diligence and agreed to hire an adviser to appraise the agency’s assets.
The State Enterprise Policy Commission, better known as the “superboard”, ordered both state telecom enterprises to conduct due diligence as part of its move to work out a policy to improve their operations. 
The superboard was set up by the National Council for Peace and Order to ensure all state enterprises move in the same direction towards strength and efficiency. 
Natwut said the superboard advised TOT to aim the study at six core businesses – telecommunication infrastructure, telecom towers, international Internet gateways and submarine cables, mobile-phone services, fixed-line telephone services and broadband Internet, and information-technology services.
This week CAT’s board also allowed that agency to carry out due diligence within three months.
Natwut dismissed speculation that the superboard planned to merge TOT and CAT into a single national telecom agency, saying both of them had to concentrate on due diligence and resubmitting rehabilitation plans to the superboard today.
TOT’s new rehabilitation plan will focus on cutting costs, dissolving unprofitable businesses and seeking new revenue sources, he said. 
For the first half of this year, TOT reported a loss of Bt1.3 billion on Bt32.4 billion of revenue. Revenue for the full year is expected to reach only Bt57.6 billion, short of the target of Bt64.4 billion. It is also expected to suffer a huge loss of Bt8.9 billion, bigger than the budgeted Bt5.1 billion.
This year CAT is expected to earn Bt1.7 billion on Bt55 billion of revenue. For the first half, it eked out a Bt602-million profit from Bt25.2 billion in revenue. 
CAT’s board also approved the resignation of CAT president Kittisak Sriprasert, which he tendered on Tuesday, while TOT’s board approved the resignation of TOT president Yongyuth Wattanasit, effective today.
A superboard source said four or five of around seven “ailing” state agencies had already submitted rehabilitation plans.
The source added that Thai Airways International would have to revise its rehab plan to include long-term strategies. 

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