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Court to treat Stark Corporation’s fraud case as a class action

Written by World Events

The Bangkok South Civil Court decided today to classify the lawsuit filed against former executives and directors of wire maker Stark Corporation as a class action.

The lawsuit was filed against Vonnarat Tangkaravakoon, Chanin Yensudjai, Chinnawat Assavapokee, Sathar Chantrasettalead and Kittisak Jitprasertngam, former executives and directors of financially-troubled Stark Corporation, by Kanit Apiwatnanont and two other plaintiffs, accusing them of defrauding the public in violation of the Securities Act.

After having scrutinised the backgrounds and experience of the three plaintiffs and their lawyer, the court said it believes they are capable of representing and protecting the interests of some 4,500 shareholders, who fell victim to the fraud.

Jinna Yaem-oum, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, said that the combined losses by the approximately 4,500 shareholders are estimated at about 9.2 billion baht.

Meanwhile, another group of shareholders petitioned the court to merge their lawsuit with the class action, but this was objected to by the class action plaintiffs and lawyer, claiming that it would not be beneficial.

The court decided to reject the petition.

Formerly one of Thailand’s top 100 listed companies, Stark’s financial troubles officially reached a critical point in March 2022, when the Securities and Exchange Commission suspended trading of the company’s shares for missing the 2022 financial reporting deadline.

After a three-month suspension, trading resumed for a month, to provide investors with an opportunity to liquidate their Stark holdings.

In June 2022, Stark was removed from Thailand’s benchmark stock index, resulting in massive sales by index funds. Trade in Stark shares resumed in June, down by 89% from closing price before their first suspension. At one point, the share price fell to 0.01 baht.

In July, trading was suspended indefinitely, forcing investors to close out their positions at a major loss.

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