Thonburi Healthcare chairman resigns after market ban

Dr Boon Vanasin sanctioned and fined over claims of Covid vaccine purchases that never materialised

published :
26 Aug 2022 at 20:51

Dr Boon Vanasin, the founder and chairman of Thonburi Healthcare Group, caused a stir last year with a claim that he had arranged to buy millions of doses of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Dr Boon Vanasin, the founder and chairman of Thonburi Healthcare Group (THG), is resigning from the company’s board as he faces a market ban in connection with claims he made last year about the purchase of Pfizer coronavirus vaccines.

The resignation will take effect on Saturday, the company said in a filing to the Stock Exchange of Thailand on Friday.

The move came shortly after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it would ban him from sitting on the boards of listed companies for three years and six months and fined him 2.3 million baht.

The punishment was in connection with statements he made about a claimed purchase of Pfizer vaccines between July 12 and Aug 4 last year.

The market regulator said that Dr Boon’s comments to the media gave the impression that his company was buying the vaccine and his statements influenced stock prices.

He said in early July that THG planned to secure a contract to buy 5 million doses of Pfizer vaccine by the end of the month but it never happened, according to the SEC.

On Aug 3, he told the media that the company planned to sign a contract to import 20 million doses of Pfizer vaccine in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence “within the week”. But he admitted later that the plan had been aborted, the SEC added.

The statements led to heavy trading in THG shares and volatile price movements that led many analysts to advise investors to exercise caution.

The SEC said the penalties would take effect when he agreed with the decision. The SEC said it would take the case to the Civil Court if he refused to accept the punishment.

THG said in its statement that it did not expect the resignation to have an impact on its business. “The Company has qualified directors, a variety of abilities and a professional management team,” it said. “We are confident that such a change will not affect our operations or business plans.”

The company said that Dr Boon’s wife, Charuvarn Vanasin, would replace him on the board after his resignation takes effect.

THG shares closed on Friday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 67.75 baht, unchanged, in turnover worth 282.1 million baht.

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