Apology

 

Last week, the government said ITV would come under the control of the state broadcaster, which operates radio stations and the Thai news agency.

 

"I would like to apologise. I always realise the importance of media. But there were legal issues and I have to stick to the law"

Surayud Chulanont, Thai prime minister

Surayud Chulanont, the Thai prime minister, apologised to a group of ITV reporters outside Government House for the decision to close the station down.

 

"I would like to apologise. I always realise the importance of media. But there were legal issues and I have to stick to the law," he said.

 

Dhipawadee said it would take a month for the government to decide the future of ITV, the country's third most popular television station.

 

Tuesday's controversial decision, the latest in a line including the imposition of capital controls and a tightening of foreign business ownership laws, has fuelled fears of rising economic nationalism in post-coup Thailand.

 

Keith Neruda, the head of research of UBS Securities in Bangkok, said: "The push to nationalise ITV is an unfortunate precedent that has increased the risk of investing in Thailand."

 

ITV shares have been suspended from trading since Tuesday's announcement.