Ban on Thai Billionaire Prompts Slump in Top Hospital Operator

(Bloomberg) -- Shares of Thailand’s top hospital operator by market value and its No. 2 airline sank after the resignation of their billionaire founder, who was banned by the country’s securities regulator for share-price manipulation.

Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Pcl plunged as much as 8.1 percent to its lowest intraday price since February. Bangkok Airways Pcl lost as much as 7.9 percent, the most since June.

Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth, who was chief executive officer of Bangkok Dusit Medical and Bangkok Airways, and his daughter Poramaporn Prasarttong-Osoth, chief operating officer of the hospital operator, have tendered their resignations effective Jan. 21, according to statements released Monday by the two companies.

The Thai Securities & Exchange Commission banned them and Narumon Chainaknan, the executive secretary in the CEO’s office at Bangkok Airways, from holding director and executive positions in listed Thai firms and imposed civil sanctions on them for manipulating the airline’s stock price in transactions from November 2015 to January 2016.

The regulator fined the trio a cumulative 499 million baht ($15.7 million) for “concealing their trading activities” to mislead the public on stock price and volumes. All three will seek to prove their innocence through the justice system, according to the company statements released Monday.

Prasert owns an 18.5 percent stake in the medical company valued at $2.1 billion, making him its biggest shareholder, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. He holds 10.8 percent of Bangkok Airways.

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