Crown Property Bureau
|Chirayu Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya|
The Crown Property Bureau (Thai: สำนักงานทรัพย์สินส่วนพระมหากษัตริย์; rtgs: Samnakngan Sapsin suan Phramahakasat; abbreviated as CPB) is the quasi-government agency responsible for managing the property of the Crown of the Kingdom of Thailand. The king appoints six members of the bureau's governing board, with the seventh the sitting Minister of Finance of Thailand. Crown property does not belong to the king in his private capacity, but to the monarchy as an institution which continues from reign to reign.:p.282
The CPB is headed by Director-General Chirayu Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya. CPB Property Co., Ltd. and CPB Equity Co., Ltd., both subsidiaries of the bureau, are headed by Michael David Selby, former partner of Business Advisory Indonesia and former employee of a United States government agency. During the late 1980s, the CPB had 600 employees, of which 90% were devoted to managing the Bureau's massive real estate holdings. In 2004, the CPB recorded over THB5 billion in earnings.
The Crown Property Bureau was established under the Royal Assets Structuring Act of 1936 and became a juristic person in 1948. According to the act, a Board of Crown Property was set up, to be chaired ex officio by the finance minister, and served by at least four royally-appointed directors. The king would also name one of the board members as the director-general of the Crown Property Bureau. The Board of Crown Property is responsible for the overall supervision of the activities of the Crown Property Bureau. Duties and responsibilities of the director-general are prescribed by the Board of Crown Property.
Initially, the Crown Property Bureau was under the jurisdiction of the Royal Treasury of the Royal Household Bureau. On 21 April 1935, the 1934 act to exempt royal assets from taxation took effect. The act categorised royal assets into two types:
- Assets eligible for tax exemption
- Assets eligible for tax payment
On 19 July 1937, the Royal Assets Structuring Act of 1936 became effective. It separated the royal assets into "His Majesty’s personal assets", "crown property", and "public property". "His Majesty’s personal assets" would be managed by the finance ministry. The Crown Property Bureau was set up with the status equivalent to a division under the treasury department of the finance ministry. Some of the functions, responsibilities, and officials were transferred from the Office of the Privy Purse to the Crown Property Bureau which sought permission to locate its office on the premises of the Office of the Privy Purse on the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
The Royal Assets Structuring Act has been amended twice: the second amendment (1941) was promulgated on 7 October 1941 and the third amendment (1948) was promulgated on 18 February 1948. The Crown Property Bureau's status was then elevated to a juristic person responsible for supervising, preserving, and managing the crown property. The director-general of the Crown Property Bureau is authorized to affix his signature on behalf of the CPB. The Crown Property Bureau has moved its office four times, with Ladawan Palace (commonly referred to as the "Red Palace") having been its home since 18 July 1946. The anniversary of the CPB's establishment is marked on 18 February.
The CPB claims to be responsible for protecting and managing the royal assets and property as well as supporting other activities for the benefit of Thai subjects and society.
In 2010, aggregate income from property came to 2.5 billion baht (US$80 million at 2012 rates). Prime real estate includes CentralWorld, a shopping mall, and the nearby Four Seasons hotel. In total, the CPB says it has 40,000 rental contracts, of which 17,000 are in Bangkok.
The CPB renews lease contracts for its tenants every three years for rent rationalization and planned for site development which will be consistent with long-term town planning considerations. The CPB has the authority to assist tenants who are affected by floods or political unrest with rent and fees reductions.
The CPB makes long-term investment in selected core business institutions such as the Siam Cement Group (SCG), the largest Thai industrial conglomerate and the Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), the country's first commercial bank.
The CPB has expanded its diversified social projects such as temple restorations, rice research and development with the Rice Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
"Youth development" is promoted jointly in partnership with the SCB and the SCG. The projects have been aimed at supporting the Ministry of Education for inculcating the king's Sufficiency Economy philosophy in the Thai school system and the establishment of the Nitasrattanakosin Exhibition Hall on Ratchadamnoen Avenue for Thai youth to learn, appreciate, and take pride in Thailand's artistic and cultural legacies of the Rattanakosin era. The CPB has supported numerous other projects such as scholarships for Thai youth.
- "Thailand's Crown Property Bureau: Economic Brake?". Asia Sentinel. 2015-04-15. Retrieved 16 Apr 2015.
- Grossman, Nicholas; Faulder, Dominic, eds. (2012). King Bhumibol Adulyadej: A Life's Work (Reprinted ed.). Editions Didier Millet. ISBN 9814260568.
- Short history from the Crown Property Bureau website
- "Board of Directors". The Crown Property Bureau. Retrieved 26 Feb 2015.
- "Minor International Pcl; Michael David Selby". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 26 Feb 2015.
- Cunningham, Susan J. (2008-08-22). "The Crowning Fortune". Forbes. Retrieved 26 Feb 2015.
- Ouyyanont, Porphant (2008). "The Crown Property Bureau in Thailand and the crisis of 1997". Journal of Contemporary Asia 38 (1): 166–189. doi:10.1080/00472330701652018. Retrieved 26 Feb 2015.
- Paisal Sricharatchanya, Far Eastern Economic Review, "The Jewels of the Crown", 30 Jun 1988, pages 60-63
- Montlake, Simon (2012-01-20). "In Thailand, A Rare Peek At His Majesty's Balance Sheet". Forbes. Retrieved 26 Feb 2015.
- Crown Property 2010 Annual Report[dead link]