Stocking up: SET chairman tipped for Finance Minister role

Photo courtesy of The Nation

The chairman of the Stock of Thailand (SET) is reportedly poised to ascend to the position of Finance Minister, according to insider sources.

The anticipated transition is slated to occur at the culmination of the ongoing parliamentary session on April 9, disclosed the informants. This strategic move aims to relieve Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin of his dual role, allowing him to concentrate exclusively on his duties as the premier.

Pichai Chunhavajira‘s illustrious career trajectory includes his appointment as advisor to Prime Minister Srettha on September 14 last year. Notably, he clinched the esteemed position of the 18th chairman of SET on February 6, succeeding Prasarn Trairatvorakul upon the completion of his three-year term.

Educationally astute, the 75 year old holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Thammasat University and a master’s in the same discipline from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His professional prowess extends beyond the confines of academia, having chaired the Bangchak board of directors since 2012 and served as a member of the Bank of Thailand’s board of directors from 2014 to 2017. Additionally, he wielded influence as a director of PTT Exploration and Production Plc from 2001 to 2013.

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However, Pichai’s journey has not been devoid of controversy, reported The Nation.

He found himself embroiled in the political maelstrom when former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra enlisted him among seven witnesses to testify before the National Anti-Corruption Commission regarding the corruption trial involving her government’s rice subsidy scheme.

In related news, the Supreme Court’s Criminal Case Division for Holders of Political Positions delivered a resounding verdict last Monday, March 4, absolving Yingluck and five co-defendants of malfeasance and corruption allegations. The charges stemmed from the allocation of a hefty 240-million-baht campaign budget aimed at promoting the Yingluck government’s ambitious 2-trillion-baht infrastructure projects.

In other news, the Finance Ministry unveiled the eligibility criteria for obtaining a virtual bank licence, which includes a minimum registered capital requirement of 5 billion baht. The specifications were published in the Royal Gazette on March 4, as revealed by Paopoom Rojanasakul, secretary to the finance minister.

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Top is a multifaceted news writer with a keen interest in real estate and travel. Top currently covers local Thai news at Thaiger. As a travel buff, Top blogs about his travels- around the world and Thailand- during his free time.

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