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Thai King Gains Direct Control over Palace Wealth - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English
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Thai King Gains Direct Control over Palace Wealth

A new law giving Thailand’s king direct control over royal assets worth billions of dollars went into force Monday, the latest move by an increasingly assertive monarch to consolidate his power.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn inherited one of the world’s great fortunes when he ascended the throne in October following the death of his father Bhumibol Adulyadej who ruled for seven decades.

Analysts say the Chakris are one of the world’s wealthiest royal dynasties, with estimates varying between $30-60 billion.

Most of this wealth is controlled by the opaque Crown Property Bureau (CPB), a vast portfolio that includes massive property ownership and investments in major companies.

On Sunday the Royal Gazette published a new law governing the CPB that was passed by the junta’s rubber-stamp legislature last week and went into effect on Monday.

The main change gives Vajiralongkorn power to appoint all members of the committee that oversees the CPB.

Under the previous law, the committee’s chairman was the finance minister, a move meant to ensure some semblance of government oversight.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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