Thailand’s public debt rises Bt 23 billion
to Bt 3.2 trillion
Thailand’s public debt totaled Bt 3.23 trillion
(US$80.75 billion) at the end of July, accounting for over 45 percent of the
country’s gross domestic product (GDP), as debt in the public sector rose
by over Bt 23 billion (US$ 0.575 billion), according to figures released by
the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday.
Pannee Sathavarodom, director-general of the Public Debt
Management Office of the Ministry of Finance, said that the Thai government
has refinanced its external debt by refinancing US$685 million in Euro
commercial paper. The action has the effect of reducing the principal by
Bt.697 million and Bt.4.7 billion in interest payments.
The Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) has also
successfully lightened its debt load by repaying Japan Bank for
International Cooperation (JBIC) ahead of schedule, thereby reducing Bt.593
million in principal and Bt.471 million in interest.
Outstanding public debt at the end of July stood at
Bt.3.2 trillion, amounting to 45 percent of the country’s GDP, up Bt.23
billion from the month of June. Of this, the government has borrowed Bt.1.8
Debts of non-financial state enterprises totaled 997
billion baht, while the Financial Institutions Development Fund (FIDA)
remains nearly 431 billion baht in red. (TNA)
Finance Minister sets goal to double Thai stock exchange capital
Finance Minister Thanong Bidaya has set a target to
double market capitalization of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) from
Bt.5 trillion to Bt.10 trillion in five years.
Following his visit to the SET recently, Dr Thanong said
he had assigned the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations to
coordinate drafting a capital market development master plan with the main
aim to double the market capitalization of the SET by giving more incentives
to listed companies.
Key components of the capital market development master
plan include incentives for listed companies to expand their businesses.
These measures will replace the ‘temporary’ discount in corporate tax
for listed companies that the government intends not to renew once it lapses
at the end of this year.
Companies listed in Thailand must receive incentives on
par with those offered on other regional stock markets in order for the Thai
stock market to grow, said the finance minister. Citing statistics from the
Revenue Department, Dr. Thanong said over 400 listed companies account for
half of the total corporate tax paid in the entire country. “This means
the Thai capital market is the government’s largest source of revenue,”
Dr. Thanong said. “The more profitable the listed companies are, the more
tax revenue goes to the Thai government.”
Other possible measures to be incorporated into the
master plan include allowing foreign investors to use the US dollar as a
trading currency for stock listed on the international board of the Thai
bourse, and additional incentives to promote long-term savings such as the
Retirement Mutual Fund. Promoting good corporate governance and development
of the debt market, including the Asian Bond, also forms part of the plan,
Dr. Kongkiat Opaswongkarn, president of the Federation of
Thai Capital Market Organizations, said the target of doubling SET market
cap within five years is attainable provided that net profit of listed
companies grows at 10 percent per year, and that more state enterprises and
multinationals are allowed to list. (TNA)
Futures fair to be held Sept 24
In a bid to boost investment in Thailand’s futures
market, the Agricultural Futures Exchange of Thailand (AFET) and several
other agencies are cooperating in organizing the “Futures Fair 2005” at
the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center on September 24.
AFET Manager Napaporn Kurupsuthachai said her company had
joined with several agencies, including the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)
and the Thai Futures Exchange (TFEX), to hold a fair aimed at providing
knowledge on futures market to prospective investors and gain recognition
for AFET among local and foreign investors.
She said AFET also wants to become the center for locals
who are involved in the agricultural sector including exporters, goods
processing manufacturers and farmers. AFET can help people to use the
futures market mechanism to eliminate business risks, and map out production
and marketing plans in an efficient way.
Participants expected to join the fair are those involved
in natural rubber, tapioca and rice, SET investors, members of the Thai
Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), concerned
government officials and financial institutions. (TNA)
Agriculture Ministry to spend Bt 32bn in drought action
The Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry will present
the cabinet with a two-stage drought reduction plan that offers both
immediate and short-term solutions. The plan has a proposed budget of Bt 32
billion (US$80 million).
Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Khun Ying Sudarat
Keyuraphan said that while some Thai dams could store water during the
current rainy season, the water supply in general is still insufficient,
forcing her ministry to draft both urgent and short-term measures to relieve
the current critical shortages of water. Temporary dikes would be
constructed in certain areas to store water instead of allowing it to flow
into rivers or seas. This project alone requires a two billion baht budget,
For the short-term project, another Bt.30 billion is
needed and the project could start this year to store rainwater during the
rainy season next year. The project calls for building rubber-made weirs as
well as digging large ponds, mostly in the northeastern and eastern regions,
she said. The government also plans to expropriate certain land areas that
are frequently flooded and will ask long-term residents to move to higher
ground so that the government can utilize water to its maximum benefit.
Water diversion from Thailand’s neighboring countries may happen within
the next five years which could assist the agricultural sector, but the
industrial sector will have to pay more for water consumption, she added.
Deputy Prime Minister Pinij Jarusombat said recent
rainfall has alleviated Thailand’s water crisis in the eastern region but
the project to increase the much needed water storage capacity in reservoirs
needs a go-ahead to solve the ongoing water problem in the region.
Pinij said that the water crisis in the east improved due
to heavy rains during the past week. The volume of water in reservoirs has
been significantly increased but water shortages will remain a problem
because of the high demand for water in the industrial and tourism sectors.
Excluding the water used in the agricultural sector, the
deputy prime minister said, the figure showed that about 70 million cubic
meters of water is used in Chonburi each year and 120 million cubic meters
It is expected that the demand for water in Pattaya will
increase by 20 percent next year. Pinij said that he ordered the water
authorities concerned to provide enough water to support the tourism,
business and industrial sectors, but rejected claims that some entrepreneurs
were forced to stop production due to a lack of sufficient water.
Pinij also ordered demolition of unauthorized barriers
built by some resorts and golf courses to collect water from public
waterways for their own benefit. (TNA)
Bruce Hoppe promoted to Vice President of Emerson Climate Technologies,
Bill Bosway President of Emerson Climate Technologies,
Asia Operations announced the promotion of Bruce Hoppe to Vice President of
Emerson Climate Technologies, Asia Operations.
Hoppe VP Emerson Climate Technologies, Asia Operations
In his message Mr. Bosway said, “I am pleased to
announce the promotion of Bruce Hoppe to Vice President of Asia Operations,
reporting to Steve Stewart. Bruce will have responsibility for our Thailand
and Suzhou scroll operations, Shenyang, and support for KCL, our joint
venture in India.
Under Bruce’s leadership as Managing Director, our
Thailand operation has achieved outstanding results in safety, quality,
cost, and inventory management. Thailand recently received the Emerson
Safety Award and is approaching 9 million hours or 7 years without a lost
time accident. Customer line returns are less than 50 PPM and inventory
turnover has improved 18% per year since FY99.
Bruce’s team has also experienced tremendous success in
executing reverse auctions and implementing cost reductions.
Thailand achieved a new milestone for safety on Friday, 26 August 2005,
surpassing 9 Million hours worked without a single working day lost. This
record set a benchmark for safety for all compressors/motors Plant
worldwide!! Injury Rate has been reduced to 1.06 %. In the great
achievement, Thailand Plant’s next goal is to reach 10 million hours
worked without a lost time accident and they are confident that they can
Bruce joined Copeland in 2001 as managing director of our
Thailand scroll and motor operations.
Prior to joining Copeland, Bruce was President of
Numatics Actuator, a division of Numatics, Inc. for 8 years based in
Franklin, Tennessee. Bruce also has 23 years of experience with General
Motors in both Engineering and Operations. Bruce has a degree in Mechanical
Engineering (BME) from General Motors lnstitute, and earned his MBA from
Michigan State University.
Please join me in congratulating Bruce on his promotion and new
Plastic cash advances lead July credit card debt increase of Bt 1 billion
Cash advances by credit card users rose sharply in July,
accounting for 75 percent of credit card use during the month.
Growth in the number of new credit cards issued last
month slowed for the first time this year. Nevertheless, credit card debt
rose by Bt 1 billion (US$25 million) in July, according to figures released
Tuesday by the Bank of Thailand (BOT).
At the end of July, there were 9.3 million credit cards
in the system, with nearly 180,000 new cards issued for the month, a sharp
fall in the growth rate compared to last year.
Among the cards in use, 3.5 million were issued by Thai
commercial banks, over 1 million by foreign banks and some 4.8 million by
Spending by all these credit cards totaled Bt 51.3
billion in July. Of this, Bt.36 billion was spent domestically - up Bt.406
million from June.
Plastic cards being used overseas amount to Bt.2.1
billion, a Bt.52 million increase from June.
Cash advances topped Bt.12 billion, rising by Bt.767
million from June, suggesting that more consumers are dipping into their
plastic reserves for daily expenses. (TNA)
Chubb acquires Direct Telecom as Thai security market surges
Chubb Thailand is buying one of Thailand’s leading
techno-based protection firms, Direct Telecom.
A high-profile employer in Thailand with over 5,000
staff, mainly in the areas of manned guarding and aviation security, Chubb
is a worldwide company with operations in 40 countries.
Thailand, Managing Director (left), Mr. David Viccars, finalizes the deal
with Khun Somphop Poshakrishna, Managing Director of Direct Telecom.
Announcing the move, Chubb Thailand managing director
David Viccars said the acquisition pointed towards a trend towards “a more
sophisticated security skills specialisation”.
He said that Chubb had long recognised Thailand as being
an expanding market with specific needs and had wanted to pinpoint a high
quality Thai company to expand its design, engineering and electronic
Viccars said that Chubb Thailand will now be a one-stop
shop offering a full range of security and safety services. This will
include physical security products such as locks and safes, safety items
comprising panic alarms, fire extinguishers, fire detection and prevention
systems, intruder alarms and perimeter protection, monitoring devices like
CCTV and remote monitoring of alarms and cameras, access control systems,
and manned guarding and aviation security.
“Now we can deliver a range of services that takes
advantage of Direct Telecom’s in-depth knowledge of how Thais size up
their security needs, and marry this expertise with Chubb’s international
way of working, especially our on going dedication to research and
development,” he said.
“The great advantage is that we are smoothly merging
two different work cultures, with the common goal of producing a better
home-driven product and service.”
Direct Telecom managing director Somphop
Poshakrishana will lead the team. Somphop said that the company, which had
been established in 1994, is particularly strong in electronic security
services for hospitals, offices, hotels, and convenience stores. The 24-hour
stores are currently an outstanding growth area for the protection
business, he said.
The private security services industry in Thailand is expected to grow by
at least 30 percent in 2005 compared with a 15 percent increase over the
last five years. The overall value of the industry is projected to reach
about 20 billion baht this year, also a 30 percent rise from 2004, according
to figures released by Chubb Thailand.
Hot desking is the coming trend for Grade A office space
Hot desking is going to become a buzz phrase in Thailand
soon, with office rentals rising and filing and storage trends undergoing
The prediction comes from Peter Johansson, managing
director of Bangkok-based Tellus Systems Ltd, a specialist in office and
Peter Johansson - Managing Director of Tellus
Johansson, who is just back from visiting Tellus
suppliers in the United States, where hot desking is being absorbed into
corporate culture, says it is simply the art of planning more space for a
minimum number of employees on the premises at one time. It is an
alternative to catering for all staff who may, or may not be assigned
to desk duties at any given period.
A-grade offices in Thailand must now look at alternative
solutions to simply expanding space, especially now that local rising
costs dictate that firms maximize the full working space area available.
“This is why the office scene here must seriously
consider hot desking.”
The concept, which allows employees to reserve space on
an as-needed basis, has been operating for a decade in America, but should
impact Thailand very soon, particularly with a predicted commercial
slow-down on the horizon, Johannson said.
“Companies will be carefully accounting for all
their baht allocated to the work-place.”
The system works by allocating workspace via a booking
system, and the worker’s files are within easy reach from a central
storage system. Documents can be retrieved and returned with a minimum of
“This is really user-friendly and helps varying
customer needs,” said Johansson “Staff can immediately use our
streamlined Spacemaker range - a mobile, power-saving unit
which maximizes floor space use, providing the widest range of convenience,
size/ color alternatives to fit the most difficult environment... this is
what hot desking is all about, re-investing the real estate to benefit both
the employer and the employees”
A 20-year veteran of Asia, the Swedish-born Mr.
Johansson established Tellus in Thailand in 2001, following extensive stints
with multi-national storage and handling companies in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
For more information call 02-643-8044 to 8 or e-mail: [email protected]
UK Embassy introduces new director to Pattaya
After coming to Thailand for vacations for the past eight
years, one British government officer has finally managed to secure a
position here, after spending time in China. Steve Buckley, the Director of
Trade and Investment for Thailand came down to Pattaya to meet with local
businessmen and community leaders, to stamp a more personal touch with his
Embassy’s dealings in this region.
Buckley flanked by Thierry Ehrhardt (left) and Dr. Iain Corness (right)
He was welcomed by Graham Macdonald, the Eastern Seaboard
representative of the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand, and Barrie
Kenyon, the Consular representative for the British nationals in this area.
Others who were pleased to make the new director’s acquaintance included
Chris Langford, Chief Executive Officer of the Laem Chabang International
Deep Seaport Terminal; Andrew Harrison, Head of School of the St. Andrews
International School at Rayong; Thierry Ehrhardt from GKN Driveline, Dr.
Iain Corness, the International Consultant for the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital
and Pratheep Malhotra MD of the Pattaya Mail.
In an interview on Pattaya Mail on TV, Steve Buckley indicated that it
was his intention to promote more investment in Thailand from UK
enterprises, citing the expansion that has continued, giving British Triumph
motorcycles as an example, who are now building their second manufacturing
plant in this area.
gentlemen (l-r) Chris Langford, Barrie Kenyon, Andrew Harrison and Graham