Shin Sat awaits BoI tax perks

04 Oct 2006

(The Nation (Thailand) via NewsEdge) Shin Satellite is waiting for the Board of Investment (BoI) to grant tax privileges to business arising from its telecom satellite Thaicom 5, company executive chairman Dumrong Kasemset has said.

Dumrong said Shin Sat had submitted an application for the privileges to the BoI during the Thaksin administration.

However, BoI business is waiting until the incoming government appoints a new board.

Shin Sat is 41.34% owned by Shin Corp., which was founded by ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

"We started earning BoI privileges during the Banharn (Silapa-archa) government, when the then BoI granted tax privileges to our Thaicom 3 satellite because we aimed to bring as much foreign exchange revenue as possible to our country - not because we gained any specific favor. And the tax privileges cover only the revenue from foreign exchange," Dumrong said.

The Banharn government's term in office lasted from 1995-1996. Shin Sat launched Thaicom 3 into orbit in 1997.

Shin Sat's broadband satellite, iPSTAR, received BoI privileges in November 2003, providing a corporate income-tax holiday on foreign revenue for eight years. The satellite, which was launched in August last year, has a life expectancy of 16 years.

Thaicom 5 has a payload capacity of 25 C-Band and 14 Ku-Band transponders. Its footprint covers four continents and can serve users in Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa, with a life expectancy of at least 12 years.

Dumrong said about half of Thaicom 5's customers were foreign. Its transponder capacity was twice that of Thaicom 3 and still had 30% of its capacity to fill.

This year, Shin Sat will pay a concession fee equal to 15.5% of its revenue to its concession holder, the Information and Communications Technology Ministry.

© 2006 The Nation Publications (PVT) Ltd

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