Finance Ministry hints of lifting foreign stock ceiling
Finance Minister Somkid Jatusripitak recently gave a
clear indication that he personally supports the lifting of the ceiling
currently barring foreigners from holding more than a certain proportion of
stocks in Thai firms, acknowledging that the current regulations pose a
barrier for potential shareholders.
Somkid said that large scale companies across the world
required diversity among their shareholders, and that he personally felt
that Thailand’s current ceiling should be lifted.
He warned, however, that lifting the ceiling was
something that would have to be done with caution, as lifting controls could
run into legal difficulties, and recognized that the government could run up
against accusations of selling the country to foreigners.
The finance minister however brushed off anticipated
criticism of the move, saying that in today’s world of globalization,
money circulated throughout the world, settling in places where investment
proved the most attractive. (TNA)
Anti-Thai riots adversely affect trade and investment, says TFRC
The anti-Thai riots which recently rampaged in Cambodia
will have an adverse impact on trade, investment and tourism cooperation
between the two neighboring countries, according to Thai Farmers Research
Thailand’s leading think tank said the incident has
damaged the atmosphere of bilateral trade, which has an annual value of
40,000 billion baht. Thai traders are uncertain about the turmoil in the
country and want to wait and see until the situation returns to normal.
Key Thai exports to Cambodia include packaged oil valued
at US$61 million while imports from the country are ore and metallic residue
valued at $2.2 million.
TFRC said political instability had periodically
undermined foreign investment in Cambodia in the past several years. Most
investor dared not make huge investment in the country.
In its report, TFRC said, “As the Thai economy begins
to recover Thai businessmen want to invest overseas to expand their
business. It is predicted they will shy away from investing in Cambodia and
turn to investment spots where there is more safety and security.”
TFRC added Thailand was likely to lose the Cambodian
tourist market, which is the third largest in Indochina after Vietnam and
Laos, as a result of the tension in bilateral relations. The number of
Cambodian arrivals has increased in the past five years, earning Thailand
tourism revenue of more than one billion baht. (TNA)
Foreign investors skeptical about Thai growth figures
The president of the International Chamber of Commerce
recently warned that foreigners are concerned that Thailand’s economic
growth seems to be driven by domestic consumption and government debt and
spending rather than by exports and revenue.
Kierti said the government has to attach more importance
to the perceptions of foreign investors. Foreign investors were worried that
Thailand’s economic growth was based on consumption and credit rather than
on true growth indicators such as exports.
“Several groups of foreign investors constantly come to
check out the basics of the Thai economy. Some of them are satisfied with
the high economic growth rate, but several other groups have expressed
doubts that Thailand’s economic expansion is being driven by government
spending, consumption and debt”, he said.
The chamber of commerce president also urged the
government to do everything in its power to prepare for the eventuality of a
US-Iraq war in order to minimize impact on Thai businesses. (TNA)
Bright prospects for Thailand’s new online library business
The first-ever online library service of Thailand is
receiving a good response from bookworms as the membership soared in its
first three months of operation.
The library online service is located at www.thailib.com
Jentipong Phumchan, the library‘s web master said
everyone could borrow books via the Internet after registering online to the
web-site as a member.
“My fondness for reading inspired me to have my own
library and decided to run the library business later,” he said.
Books of the online library are generally categorized the
same as ordinary libraries. Clients can select their favorite items and
submit their order on the computer. The requested books will be immediately
delivered to the customers by postal service.
“More than 100 members have already registered with the
web-site and the number of customers is likely to increase steadily. I
don’t expect to earn a huge profit from my business but my intention is to
create the reading community online,” Jantipong said. (TNA)