Home Blog Page 407

Should Hong Kong be worried about Thailand’s ‘Red Shirts’?

0

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — The Greek sovereign-debt crisis and fiscal frailty of many European nations can reinforce the idea that the time has come for Asia — state finances here are in good health, supported … Thailand Business News

Read more here:
Should Hong Kong be worried about Thailand’s ‘Red Shirts’?

Thailand’s 2010 GDP growth is projected at 3.5%, driven by domestic demand. In the context of weaker global demand in 2010, exports will grow modestly, but the restocking cycle and slow rebound in investment also imply a pick-up in imports, which results in muted net external demand. Public and private investment add 0.8% point to the growth rate, while normal stocking patterns provide a boost to growth of 1.5 % points . Thailand’s Household consumption picks up modestly, adding 0.8 percentage point to the growth rate, whereas public consumption decelerates from 2009 levels but still adds 0.4 percentage point.

FDI policies

The country’s well-defined investment policies focus on liberalization and encourage free trade. Foreign investments, especially those that contribute to the development of skills, technology and innovation are actively promoted by the government. Thailand consistently ranks among the most attractive investment locations in international surveys, and the World Bank’s 2010 Ease of Doing Business report places Thailand as the 12th easiest country in the world in which to do business.

Government support and incentives are provided for foreign investors in Thailand

Numerous government agencies support investors. Through the Board of Investment, the government offers a range of tax incentives, support services and import duty exemptions or reductions to an extensive list of promoted activities.
Companies receiving investment promotion privileges from the Board of Investment are not subject to foreign equity restrictions in the manufacturing sector, and there are no local content requirements nor export requirements, as Thailand’s investment regime is in total compliance with WTO regulations.
The Board of Investment also coordinates the activity of the One-Stop Service Center for Visas and Work Permits, which enables foreign staff of BOI-promoted companies to obtain work permits and long-term visas within three hours or less.
The BOI also administers the One Start One Stop Investment Center, which opened in November 2009 to facilitate a full range of services and streamline investment procedures by bringing representatives from more than 20 government agencies under one roof.
In addition to the activities of the BOI, other government organizations, such as the Department of Export Promotion and international chambers of commerce, provide invaluable support and a host of other important services.

The words of the Thai Royal Anthem, performed at most official ceremonies and before the start of every movie, may strike a Western ear as somewhat archaic.

After all, the system of absolute monarchy ended in 1932, following a revolution staged by a small group of disaffected civil servants and military men. Since then, Thai kings have ruled under a constitution; their powers theoretically no greater than those of European monarchs. Yet, since he was officially crowned in 1946, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has assumed the role of constitutional monarch and has worked tirelessly on behalf of his people, gaining a measure of personal devotion that is probably more intense than that felt for any of his all-powerful ancestors. It has been said that Their Majesties King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit are the hardest working royal couple in the world with a work load once estimated to be equal to at least one function every day of the year. Of the several institutions that form the foundation of modern Thai life, the one His Majesty represents is not only the most visible but also the most revered.

Thailand’s ICT market is growing fast

0

While still relatively young, Thailand’s information and communications technology industry is growing with great promise. Businesses, government agencies and households are going digital, and more Thai consumers have become tech-savvy, with the latest ICT gadgets … Thailand Business News

Read more:
Thailand’s ICT market is growing fast

Sectors linked to external demand (namely, manufacturing, hotels and transport) have been the main contributors to growth since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, and have also determined the dynamics of the economy in 2008-09. These sectors have accounted for almost all of the annual changes in real GDP.
However, the upside is limited due to political and regulatory uncertainty, including from possible political violence and the Map Ta Phut court case. The government investment plan is proceeding at a slow pace, but public investment should contribute to growth.

Yet a glance through the 2009 Post/ AWR Lloyd-PYI Shareholder Scorecard shows that some sectors clearly benefited more than others. Home and office products led all sectors with a 267% gain in 2009, followed by agribusiness at 238% and property development at 132%.
But while Thai bosses may feel powerless to change market perceptions about political risk, plenty can be done to at least separate one’s company from the herd. Too many Thai companies have free floats and trading liquidity that are too constrained to attract institutional investors.

Finance Ministry to Expedite Budget Bill Drafting

0

The Finance Ministry has resolved to expedite drafting the 2011 budget bill, aiming to have it completed by mid-September before the planned dissolution of the House. Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij stated that as Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has declared that he will dissolve the House and make way for an election on November 14, the ministry is now obligated to complete its drafting of the 2011 budget bill as soon as possible.

Here is the original post:
Finance Ministry to Expedite Budget Bill Drafting

Sectors linked to external demand (namely, manufacturing, hotels and transport) have been the main contributors to growth since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, and have also determined the dynamics of the economy in 2008-09. These sectors have accounted for almost all of the annual changes in real GDP.
Overall, domestic demand should provide a positive but limited contribution to growth: vulnerable households lost ground in 2009 and risks are substantial in 2010, as falling agricultural output due to the current drought may offset opportunities from the improved overall economic environment. Household consumption levels, which are highly correlated with the poverty rate, contracted in 2009 despite the rebound in the last quarter of the year, suggesting a likely increase in the poverty rate compared to 2008, especially when compounded by the loss in purchasing power from the food and fuel crisis of 2008. The outlook for 2010 is uncertain : average wages are likely to increase, thanks to the reallocation of labor from agriculture to manufacturing. Although labor markets appear very tight, with unemployment below 1 %, the data do not account for the large number of workers who moved to lower-productivity jobs in agriculture and informal services due to the crisis. Many of these workers are now returning to manufacturing, which offers higher wages than agriculture.

‘‘In part, the gains in the market are a function of wealth creation. Asian and Middle Eastern household wealth is growing faster than in the United States and Europe,’’. The broadening and deepening of the Asian capital markets has helped draw savings away from traditional asset classes such as bank deposits and mutual funds to equities.
But while Thai bosses may feel powerless to change market perceptions about political risk, plenty can be done to at least separate one’s company from the herd. Too many Thai companies have free floats and trading liquidity that are too constrained to attract institutional investors.

The modern Thai capital market can essentially be divided into two phases, beginning with “The Bangkok Stock Exchange” which was privately owned, followed by the establishment of “The Securities Exchange of Thailand”.

The inception of the Thai stock market began as far back as July 1962, when a private group established an organized stock exchange as a limited partnership. The group later became a limited company and changed its name to the “Bangkok Stock Exchange Co., Ltd.” (BSE) in 1963.
Despite its well-intended foundation the BSE was rather inactive. Annual turnover value consisted of only 160 million baht in 1968, and 114 million baht in 1969. Trading volumes continued to fall sharply thereafter to 46 million baht in 1970, and then 28 million baht in 1971. The turnover in debentures reached 87 million baht in 1972, but stocks continued to perform poorly, with turnover hitting an all time low of only 26 million baht. The BSE finally ceased operations in the early 1970s.

It is generally accepted that the BSE failed to succeed because of a lack of official government support and a limited investor understanding of the equity market.

Thailand’s “red shirts” are considering Prime Minister’s peace proposals

0

The United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) has responded rather positively with the proposal for national reconciliation presented by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva via a televised address. Shortly after the televised address of the prime … Thailand Business News

More:
Thailand’s “red shirts” are considering Prime Minister’s peace proposals

The political unrest in the last quarter of 2009 will continue to dampen tourist confidence into at least the first half of 2010. In addition, the slowdown in growth of the economies from which a large number of tourists come to Thailand, such as EU and Japan, will reduce tourist receipts next year. With the slowdown in exports capacity utilization is expected to fall in Thailand. A clear exit strategy from the fiscal stimulus has yet to be articulated. Because part of the government’s capital budget has been moved off-budget as part of the stimulus package, some additional capital expenditures, as well as the maintenance expenditures of the newly-built infrastructure, must be incorporated into future budgets once the stimulus package is finalized.

Thailand enjoys a strategic location and serves as a gateway into the heart of Asia – home to what is today the largest growing economic market.
The country also offers convenient trade with China, India and the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and easy access into the Greater Mekong sub-region, where newly emerging markets offer great business potential.

Thailand plans to be the Hub of ASEAN

Thailand was one of the founding members of ASEAN and has been instrumental in the formation and development of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA).
AFTA entered into force on 1 January 2010 for the six original ASEAN (ASEAN-6) members (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Brunei), thereby reducing import duties to zero; the so-called CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) will follow suit in 2015.
Thailand has forged close economic cooperation with other ASEAN member nations, and Thai manufactured products and services have access to their markets, which includes all 10 ASEAN countries. ASEAN is home to more than half a billion people, GDP in excess of US$1.5 trillion and total trade of well more than US$1 trillion per year.

EGAT has also announced its solicitations for power purchase from IPP projects to enhance competition in the generation business. This has been followed by power purchase from small power producers (SPPs) to particularly promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy resources for electricity generation.
In terms of international cooperation, EGAT has collaborated with neighboring countries in pursuing the ASEAN Power Grid Project to integrate the transmission systems within ASEAN countries for energy security and mutual economic benefits. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand is also in talks with neighbouring countries, to make joint developments in hydropower projects.

Amidst changes and challenges, EGAT has been and will be tirelessly developing the country’s electric power system to ensure that its electricity supply remains the most secure and reliable infrastructure service which contributes significantly to the betterment of the quality of life and the environment and drives the country’s economic and social growth in the future. The expertise and experience gained over 35 years of operation have provided EGAT with the multi-faceted power and strength needed in maintaining its leadership and a competitive edge in the new business environment.

Thailand urged to change his currency policy to curb rising Baht

0

Thailand and other Southeast Asian nations are being strongly urged to change their foreign-exchange policy, given that major Western currencies could further lose their shine, due to massive public debt. Thailand Business News

Read this article:
Thailand urged to change his currency policy to curb rising Baht

The output of other sectors was also affected during the recent crisis, although less markedly because they had been growing slower than the sectors linked to external demand.
Overall, domestic demand should provide a positive but limited contribution to growth: vulnerable households lost ground in 2009 and risks are substantial in 2010, as falling agricultural output due to the current drought may offset opportunities from the improved overall economic environment. Household consumption levels, which are highly correlated with the poverty rate, contracted in 2009 despite the rebound in the last quarter of the year, suggesting a likely increase in the poverty rate compared to 2008, especially when compounded by the loss in purchasing power from the food and fuel crisis of 2008. The outlook for 2010 is uncertain : average wages are likely to increase, thanks to the reallocation of labor from agriculture to manufacturing. Although labor markets appear very tight, with unemployment below 1 %, the data do not account for the large number of workers who moved to lower-productivity jobs in agriculture and informal services due to the crisis. Many of these workers are now returning to manufacturing, which offers higher wages than agriculture.

Total shareholder returns (TSR) for 2009 are calculated by assuming that investors reinvest all cash received over the course of the year to determine a total return from one’s investment. The 2009 analysis covers 505 companies from the Stock Exchange of Thailand and the Market for Alternative Investment and is based on share valuations as of Dec 31 and dividend payments made over the 2009 calendar year.
But another factor is likely the presence of larger, institutional investors in large-cap stocks who are more concerned about long-term performance than short-term market movements.

Thai Prime Minister to propose reconciliation plan to solve crisis

0

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajiva told the Japanese press Sunday he will propose a reconciliation plan to resolve the political turmoil in which the timeframe for House dissolution may be reduced to less than nine … Thailand Business News

See more here:
Thai Prime Minister to propose reconciliation plan to solve crisis

With a well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, generally pro-investment policies, and strong export industries, Thailand enjoyed solid growth from 2000 to 2008 – averaging more than 4% per year – as it recovered from the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. Thai exports – mostly machinery and electronic components, agricultural commodities, and jewelry – continue to drive the economy, accounting for as much as three-quarters of GDP. The global financial crisis of 2008-09 severely cut Thailand’s exports, with most sectors experiencing double-digit drops. In 2009, the economy contracted about 2.8%. The Thai government is focusing on financing domestic infrastructure projects and stimulus programs to revive the economy, as external trade is still recovering and persistent internal political tension and investment disputes threaten to damage the investment climate.
Base effects are expected to lead to an increase in inflation readings in the fourth quarter of 2009 and into 2010, but monetary policy is likely to remain accommodative. In the same way that the deflation in 2009 has not warranted a more aggressive monetary policy reaction despite the Bank of Thailand having a lower bound of zero on its inflation target, positive inflation in 2010 should not lead to aggressive tightening either, and the Bank of Thailand is not expected to raise rates until the second half of 2010 despite rising inflation readings.

Long – established and newly emerging industries

With steady economic development and strong support industries, the country’s industrial production has grown and diversified rapidly both in long –established and newly emerging industries.
The government has emphasized attracting investment in six sectors that have been determined to be key to the country’s developmental objectives. These six target industries include: agriculture and agro-industry, alternative energy, automotive, electronics and ICT, fashion, and value-added services including entertainment, healthcare and tourism.

Thai Friendly and rich culture

Thailand has gained a well-deserved reputation throughout the world for its gracious hospitality. The friendliness of its people and the diverse nature of Thai culture make visitors feel safe and at home in Thailand.

Education and healthcare services in Thailand

The education standards in Thailand are accepted by many international examining bodies, and a great number of international schools and colleges offer world-class education, while its universities are outstanding.
In terms of healthcare, the country has developed an excellent reputation globally, due to its internationally-certified doctors and medical staff, and modern facilities and equipment. It is so good that one of the fastest-rising tourism sectors is medical tourism, with international patients visiting Thailand to take advantage of Thailand’s world-class and extremely affordable health care system.

The words of the Thai Royal Anthem, performed at most official ceremonies and before the start of every movie, may strike a Western ear as somewhat archaic.

After all, the system of absolute monarchy ended in 1932, following a revolution staged by a small group of disaffected civil servants and military men. Since then, Thai kings have ruled under a constitution; their powers theoretically no greater than those of European monarchs. Yet, since he was officially crowned in 1946, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has assumed the role of constitutional monarch and has worked tirelessly on behalf of his people, gaining a measure of personal devotion that is probably more intense than that felt for any of his all-powerful ancestors. It has been said that Their Majesties King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit are the hardest working royal couple in the world with a work load once estimated to be equal to at least one function every day of the year. Of the several institutions that form the foundation of modern Thai life, the one His Majesty represents is not only the most visible but also the most revered.