Thai Union Chairman Kraisorn Chansiri, eight others fined for insider trading
Nine individuals, including the founder and chairman of Thai Union, have been issued civil sanctions by Thailand’s Security and Exchange Commission after an investigation revealed they engaged in insider trading of the company’s stock.
Bangkok, Thailand-based Thai Union was founded by Kraisorn Chansiri in 1977, and has grown to become one of the world’s largest seafood companies, with USD 4.2 billion (EUR 3.8 billion) in sales and USD 200 million (EUR 181.2 million) in net profit in 2020. Its shares are traded publicly on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
An SEC investigation revealed the insider trading took place between October and November 2017, in advance of the public release of Thai Union’s Q3 2017 performance, which indicated a significant increase in profit. According to the SEC, Kraisorn Chansiri, Thai Union Executive Director Chuan Tangchansiri, and Chan Hon Kit, the executive director of Thai Union subsidiary Songkla Canning, obtained advance notice of the profit-increase and bought shares of Thai Union with the expectation the positive performance would boost the company’s stock price. Additionally, they passed the inside information on to family members who also bought Thai Union shares.
The SEC has fined Kraisorn Chansiri THB 3.4 million (USD 101,600, EUR 92,000), required him to reimburse the SEC’s expenses for the investigation, and banned him from serving as a director or executive of any publicly-traded company in Thailand for 14 months.
Chuan Tangchansiri was fined THB 1.7 million (USD 50,800, EUR 46,000) and has been prohibited from serving as a director executive for 14 months, and Chan Hon Kit must pay THB 2.4 million (USD 71,700, EUR 65,000) and faces a 12-month ban from serving as an executive or director of a publicly-traded company or affiliate. The family members involved, including Kraisorn Chansiri’s son, Disphol Chansiri, were fined between THB 550,000 and THB 2.1 million (USD 16,400, EUR 15,000 and USD 62,800, EUR 56,800) and face bans from serving as directors or executives for between nine and 12 months.
In a press release signed by Kraisorn Chansiri’s son and current Thai Union President and CEO Thiraphon Chansiri, the company acknowledged the sanctions, but said the decision should not impact the company’s operations.
“As the Office of Securities and Exchange Commission has published the news release regarding the imposing of civil sanctions on insider trading of TU shares on its website today, Thai Union Group Public Company Limited would like to inform that the company has acknowledged the announcement of the SEC and processed on further investigation in order to ensure that the company is complied with all relevant law and regulation including corporate governance principle,” he wrote. “Nevertheless, such matter shall not affect the business operation of the company and the company shall [provide an] update once there is further information.”
Photo courtesy of Thai Union