Bank of Thailand’s policy committee maintains repurchase rate
The Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee has
decided to maintain the 14-day repurchase rate at 2%, but conceded it was
ready to ease the interest policy if the economic situation deteriorated.
Bandid Nijthavorn, assistant governor of BOT’s Monetary
Policy Group, said the committee agreed at last week’s meeting to keep the
rate unchanged for a while. However, should the external economic situation
worsen to the extent that it could affect Thailand’s economic growth; the
body would not hesitate to cut the repo.
Bandid said regional and global economies have been
subject to uncertainty. This is mostly due to higher oil prices and fears of
a possible war between the United States and Iraq. The financial and capital
markets around the world have also been volatile. Since the situation
remains uncertain the BOT intends to be vigilant.
According to the BOT’s estimate, the US economy will
expand at a lower rate than previously expected. This is one of the reasons
the committee saw a need to maintain the repo rate for a while before making
a decision on a policy change.
Bandid added that the Thailand’s economy continued to
grow in the past eight months, boosted by the improved production,
consumption, investment and export. The BOT’s ‘wait and see’ stance
stems form figures which show that Thailand’s economy is expected to grow
and will gain momentum next year. The country’s external position remains
strong given high foreign currency reserves.
Recent flooding in parts of the country is expected to
have little impact on the country’s general economic growth because the
farming areas affected were small.
The committee concluded that estimated inflation would
increase along with economic recovery, but would not exceed the target of
Profits of securities firms
likely to plunge in 3rd quarter
Analysts blame fears of a US-Iraq war and say profits
from the third-quarter performance of securities brokerage firms are likely
to plunge since trading volume has significantly dropped.
Capital Nomura Securities Research Division projected
securities companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, excluding CNS
and Siam Industrial Credit, would have combined profits of 84 million baht,
down 79% from those of the second quarter of this year. The sharp decrease
was attributed to the fall in an average daily trading volume by 43% to 5.74
billion baht in the third quarter from 10.07 billion baht in the previous
Normura’s research department said most securities
houses remained unable to fully expand income sources and seek new business
because they are short of personnel with specific skills. Under the
circumstances some firms could find themselves in the red again when
liberalization of brokerage fees resume in 2005.
Kim-eng Securities’ research division shared the same
view. They are forecasting the performance of the securities companies will
deteriorate in the third quarter. Many investors fear a possible US-Iraq war
would put the US economy into recession, and that could have a negative
effect on stock markets around the world. This could be witnessed by a net
selling of foreign investors and a sharp decrease in the daily trading
volume on the SET in the third quarter.
Seamico Securities Research Division predicted listed
securities firms, excluding CNS and Seamico, would have profits of only 198
million baht, down 41% from those of the second quarter. It attributed the
sharp fall in the profits to the persistent bearish sentiment on the bourse
in the third quarter. (TNA)
Survey concludes investor confidence on the rise
The Board of Investment (BOI), chaired by Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of Finance Somkid Jatusripitak, has released the
results of their 6th annual Foreign Investor Confidence Survey.
The survey is conducted in cooperation with the foreign
chambers of commerce in Thailand. Two thousand questionnaires were sent to
foreign companies doing business in Thailand, and the BOI received 1,210
responses, with more than 50 percent of the responses coming from Japanese
companies, with significant responses from investors from Taiwan, Singapore,
and the United States.
BOI Secretary General Somphong Wanapha revealed that 60
percent of respondents found the investment environment in Thailand improved
from last year, and noted that 74 percent indicated they have plans to
expand their investment within 2-3 years (58 percent within 2002 alone).
Companies planning to expand investment see Thailand as a high-potential
site that offers real opportunities to improve global competitiveness of
their manufactured products.
The current administration of Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra received high marks from investors, with 61 percent confident
that the Thai economy would post growth of between two and four percent this
year, and 77 percent expressed confidence in the administration’s
capability to solve economic problems.
The survey also revealed that 65 percent of respondents
expected to post higher sales this year, with 50 percent expecting higher
profits than last year. Only 6.6 percent of respondents indicated that their
company would be unlikely to show a profit this year.
Investors cited three areas in which they felt
improvement was needed. In addition to concerns about too much paperwork
associated with the administration of investment promotion incentives, the
respondents indicated customs procedures and delays remained a concern, as
did the perceived inflexibility of relevant agencies.
BOI Secretary General Somphong Wanapha said, “The BOI
is greatly heartened by the results of the 2002 survey. The feedback from
the international investment community provides us with valuable input
regarding global investment trends, investor concerns, problems, and needs,
and is part of our commitment to improve the overall investment environment
Sofitel Raja Orchid Khon Kaen received the Silver Kinnari Award for Outstanding Performance from TAT
Ole Nielsen, general manager of Sofitel Raja Orchid Khon
Kaen expressed to reporters that the hotel received the Kinnari Award from
the Tourism Authority of Thailand category of Tourist Accommodation. This is
the second time they received this award and are very proud to be the only
hotel in Esarn Province to receive it.
Nielsen, general manager of Sofitel Raja Orchid Khon Kaen and Natthaporn
Rojplakorn, public relations manager, pose with the Silver Kinnari Award
from the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
The first Tourism Award presentations took place in 1996,
and have been held every 2 years to commend and publicity recognize
excellence in tourist sites, accommodations, activities, projects, and mass
media connected with the tourism industry, as well as to stimulate
co-operation among parties to maintain and develop resources.
The Thailand Tourism Awards are very honorary awards,
recognized and supported by the World Tourism and Organization (WTO), and
thus have been well accepted as standards of environmental management for
the Thai tourism industry.
Thailand Tourism Awards 2003, the fourth competition,
judged 6 categories:
1. Award for Tourism Attractions
2. Award for Tourism Accommodation
3. Award for Tour Programs
4. Award for Conservation Organization
5. Award for Conservation Projects
6. Tourism Publicity Award
Each category was separated into 2 levels: Award for
Excellence (the Gold Kinnari) and for Outstanding Performance (Silver
On behalf of the management and staff of Sofitel Raja
Orchid Khon Kaen, Ole Nielsen said, “We are very proud that we can develop
and support Thai tourism. Moreover, we can prove to our guests that we are
leading in international services and standards acceptable in the hotel
business. We are also the first hotel selected by the Khon Kaen governor to
host and provide residence for the APEC Meeting in 2003.”
Emirates’ New Sky chain module keeps customers updated
Sky Chain, Emirates Sky Cargo’s logistics management
system has taken a major step forward in making life easier for the
airline’s cargo customers with the launch of a new module. Now, customers
can receive automatic notification from the airline by SMS or email of the
progress of a shipment.
The new module - Automatic Status Notification (ASN) -
removes the need for cargo customers to access the tracking module or call
the airline to find out what has happened to a shipment.
Niranjan Navaratnarajah, Emirates cargo systems and
revenue planning manager said, “This new facility has phenomenal value for
the busy shipper or cargo agent. Customers who have seen our demonstration
are over the moon about it. A large part of a cargo agent’s day is spent
finding out the status of various shipments. With Automatic Status
Notification that job is now done for him. It will save him time and
When an agent books a shipment on Sky Chain the customer
can instruct the airline to notify him or a third party automatically by SMS
or by email when the shipment has cleared the through the different stages
of transportation. The menu includes Booking, Shipment Received, Customs
Cleared, Notification of Consignee, Delivered, Transferred and
Emirates Sky Cargo has steadily expanded Sky Chain; the
world’s most advanced logistics management system, since it was first
launched in 1998. The customer can chat online, print air waybills and
barcodes and make claims in addition to checking schedules.
Online bookings have steadily increased since Sky Chain
was launched in August of this year. More than 7,000 online bookings were
made and total transactions (including trace and tracking and checking
schedules) reached 53,000.