ShinSat tax deal awaits new BoI board
Shin Satellite is waiting for the Board of Investment (BoI) to grant tax privileges to business arising from its telecommunications satellite Thaicom 5, company executive chairman Dumrong Kasemset said yesterday.
During a teleconference concerning the removal from its orbital slot of Thaicom 5's glitch-ridden predecessor - Thaicom 3 - Dumrong said ShinSat 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.
ShinSat is 41.34-per-cent owned by Shin Corp Plc, 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 favour. And the tax privileges cover only the revenue from foreign exchange," Dumrong said.
The Banharn government's term in office was during 1995 and 1996. ShinSat launched Thaicom 3 into orbit in 1997.
ShinSat's broadband satellite, iPSTAR, received BoI privileges on 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 it can serve users in Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa. Its life expectancy is at least 12 years.
Dumrong said about half of Thaicom 5's customers were foreign. Its transponder capacity is twice that of Thaicom 3 and it still has 30 per cent of its capacity to fill, he added.
This year ShinSat will pay a concession fee equal to 15.5 per cent of its revenue to its concession holder, the Information and Communications Technology Ministry.