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Thailand Kept Interest Rate Unchanged

Thailand's consumer confidence rose for the first time in five months in June after the seven-month-old government said it would spend more than 1.4 trillion baht by the end of 2012. Policy makers in the Southeast Asian nation have begun saying the economy may be past the worst after declines in exports and manufacturing stabilized. Policy makers "assessed that the growth of the Thai economy would improve going forward provided that the global economic recovery sustained and the fiscal impetus started to intensify," the central bank said. The current monetary policy is "accommodative and would be supportive of an economic recovery in a subdued inflation environment."

Thailand's central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a second straight meeting amid signs government spending has helped moderate the pace of the nation's economic contraction. The Bank of Thailand held the one-day bond repurchase rate at 1.25 percent, it said in a statement today. That's the lowest level since July 2004. Seventeen of 18 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News expected the decision. One economist predicted a 25 basis-point cut. The decision "indicates confidence that the economy has bottomed out and may rebound without further monetary policy easing," said Rapee Sucharitakul, executive chairman of Kasikorn Asset Management Co., Thailand's biggest mutual-fund company with 470 billion baht ($13.8 billion) of assets. "Higher government spending will be a key driver for growth from now on."

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Other Important News In Thailand


ICBC Bank May Buy Stake in ACL Bank Pcl From Bangkok Bank

The Thai government may approve ICBC's bid to buy its shares in ACL, the Kao Hoon newspaper reported May 20, citing Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij. Korn said he will support the deal if the takeover benefits the Thai bank, according to the report.

Bangkok Bank Pcl, Thailand's biggest lender, agreed to sell its stake in ACL Bank Pcl to Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world's biggest bank by market value. "We are done with the talks, now it's up to the finance ministry," Kosit Panpiemras, the Thai bank's chairman, told reporters today, adding that ICBC also wants to buy the ministry's stake in ACL. Bangkok Bank said Nov. 21 it aimed to complete the sale of a 19.3 percent stake in ACL, worth $33 million at yesterday's close, to ICBC by the end of 2007. The deal was delayed pending a plan to raise overseas ownership limits in Thai banks to 49 percent. Thailand's government holds 30.6 percent of ACL. A deal would add to ICBC's emerging-market holdings as the state-owned bank continues an overseas expansion drive begun in 2006 with the purchase of 90 percent of PT Bank Halim Indonesia. The firm agreed to buy 79.9 percent of Macau's third-biggest bank in August and bought a fifth of South Africa's Standard Bank Group Ltd. in October, the largest overseas acquisition by a Chinese lender.

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Thai Exports Plunge but Improvement is Predicted

Thailand's exports for the month of May dropped dramatically since 1992 due to lack of demand for products. Shipments declined 26.6 percent from the prior year, according to the Commerce Ministry's Permanent Secretary Siripol Yodmuangcharoen.

Thailand's exports for the month of May dropped dramatically since 1992 due to lack of demand for products. Shipments declined 26.6 percent from the prior year, according to the Commerce Ministry's Permanent Secretary Siripol Yodmuangcharoen. An Economist at Capital Nomura Securities Pcl in Bangkok, Nuchjarin Panarode said the drop has steadied and other economic indicators support the prediction that exports may improve. Exports have fallen about 15-19 percent in 2009 and perhaps will continue to fall at a slower rate in the third quarter, but the Prime Minister asserts that exports will return to growth by the fourth quarter of the year. About 70 percent of Thailand's economy relies on shipments. A less severe drop in exports is predicted as companies like Hana Microelectronics Pcl and KCE Electronics Pcl ship more products. Thailand's industrial output actually increased in April since exporters' customers began rebuilding stockpiles, expecting a boost in demand. Richard Han, chief executive officer from Hana affirmed that demand had increased from April to May. They expect demand from China and the rest of the continent to help their exports. Since the country's imports are still relatively low, the economy will not worsen, and it might be positive for net exports, as stated by Capital Nomura's Nuchjarin.

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Thailand: Saha Calls For Subsidies

Saha Group, Thailand's biggest consumer products conglomerate, called for the government to provide subsidies to companies to help them save their workers from layoffs during the economic crisis.

Saha Group, Thailand's biggest consumer products conglomerate, called for the government to provide subsidies to companies to help them save their workers from layoffs during the economic crisis. Boonchai Chokwatana, president of Saha Pathanapibul, a subsidiary of Saha Group, said that the government should switch some of its intensive vocational training budget worth 6.9 trillion baht to help save workers from layoffs, arguing that training people does not guarantee them a job. The National Economic and Social Development Board predicted that Thailand would have at least 1 million unemployed people this year, about 2.5 percent of its workforce.

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Thailand: FTI Still Seeks B380m Retraining Budget

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) is still seeking government approval for its proposed skill retraining budget worth 380 million baht.

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) is still seeking government approval for its proposed skill retraining budget worth 380 million baht. According to Taweekit Chaturacharoenkhun, the FTI deputy chairman overseeing employment, the Thai government has largely overlooked their proposal. The FTI's proposed projects were also not included in the 6.9 billion baht government budget allocated to curb unemployment. The 380 million baht would go to a pilot project to retrain 57,00 workers from 315 factories across all industries over four months.

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Thailand Trade Surplus Reaches 18-Year High

Thailand's trade surplus reached $3.58 billion in February, its widest trade surplus in 18 years.

Thailand's trade surplus reached $3.58 billion in February, its widest trade surplus in 18 years. The widening of the trade surplus is attributed to the 40.3% drop in imports, its sharpest drop in 11 years. The decline in imports reflects lower demand for raw materials among manufacturers and falling oil prices. The large decline in imports, particularly of raw materials and capital goods, signals that manufacturing exports are likely to decline in the next few months. Exports, which account for 70% of the economy, sank for the fourth consecutive month by 11.3% from a year ago to $11.73 billion.

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Thailand: 15 Years of Free Education Program Launched

The government distributed 18 billion baht among over 40,000 local schools throughout the country to start its program of 15-years free education on Wednesday.

The government distributed 18 billion baht among over 40,000 local schools throughout the country to start its program of 15-years free education on Wednesday. A total of 18.257 billion baht was transferred to public and private schools nationwide. The program aims to help alleviate the financial burden carried by parents and also help stimulate the economy. The money would benefit students from kindergarten to high school, including vocational education inside and outside the formal education system. The policy would cover fees for education, books, education tools, student uniforms and recreational activities for about 11.8 million students.

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Thailand Government Launches B1.4 Trillion Stimulus Budget

The Thai government is planning to invest 1.4 trillion baht over a span of three years to help boost its domestic economy amid falling exports and foreign investment inflows.

The Thai government is planning to invest 1.4 trillion baht over a span of three years to help boost its domestic economy amid falling exports and foreign investment inflows. The stimulus will focus on infrastructure projects, including mass transit and water supply development. The plan will be put to a cabinet meeting next week.

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Thailand Government Targets Telecom Concessions

Thailand's State Enterprise Policy Office recently proposed to create a holding company to manage telecom concessions owned by TOT Plc and CAT Telecom, two state-owned telecommunications firms.

Thailand's State Enterprise Policy Office recently proposed to create a holding company to manage telecom concessions owned by TOT Plc and CAT Telecom, two state-owned telecommunications firms. This arrangement could allow the government to make better use of the revenue-sharing payments made by private telecom operators. The new holding company would manage the concessions and collect earnings directly from private telecom operators before directing them to government coffers. This is crucial especially at the time when the Thai government has been struggling to collect taxes and other revenues in a weak economy.

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Thailand: Food Export Projection Worsens

The National Food Institute (NFI), the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Thai Industries are expecting that food exports will drop by 15 percent from last year’s 778 billion baht to 661.2 billion baht this year.

The National Food Institute (NFI), the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Thai Industries are expecting that food exports will drop by 15 percent from last year's 778 billion baht to 661.2 billion baht this year. Commodities will be hit the hardest this year due to the plunge in demand and prices for such goods.

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Thailand's Tax Revenue Falls 16.4% Under Goal

Taxes collected over the first five months of the Thai government's fiscal year fell short of its target by 16.4 percent, with only 451.53 billion baht received.

Taxes collected over the first five months of the Thai government's fiscal year fell short of its target by 16.4 percent, with only 451.53 billion baht received. Tax refunds were 19.6 percent above projections and up 29.4 percent over the same period last year, at 95.33 billion baht. These tax results reflect the global economic downturn and the government's policy of continuing to reduce the excise tax for oil. These reports on the most recent tax revenues come after the Thai cabinet approved a framework to borrow $2 billion to build infrastructure and boost the economy from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Japan Bank of International Cooperation.

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