TOT to claim tax break by filing for SET listing next month

28 Oct 2005

Thailand’s state-owned fixed line operator TOT Corp is getting its house in order ahead of next year’s proposed listing on the Stock Exchange of Thailand and will submit regulatory filings to the Exchange next month to qualify for special tax breaks. The tax program expires at the end of this year and gives newly listed companies a reduced 25% tax rate until the end of 2010, compared with the normal 30%. Last month TOT postponed its original plan to list on the SET before the end of this year while it wraps up legal disputes with private concessionaires, reduces its regulatory costs and continues to lobby the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to make it exempt from telecoms excise tax. The telco is currently negotiating with the NTC to reduce its licence fees to THB1 billion a year from over THB5.7 billion, and plans to consult the Finance Ministry to argue its case for not paying the telecoms excise tax that applies to rival private telecom operators. Arguably TOT’s biggest challenge is the prospect of facing as many as seven lawsuits from private operators claiming the incumbent has overcharged to carry their customers’ calls to other networks. The lawsuits have a combined claim value of THB50 billion.

Thailand, TOT,

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