BANGKOK, 26 Mar 2014,  Phatra Securities Public Company Limited has revealed that at present foreign investment is continuing at a slower pace than usual, as investors wait for positive signs on the local political scene. 

BANGKOK, 26 March 2014  Investment analysts have expressed their belief the stock index may fall below 1,300 this year because of the expected retarded growth of the Thai economy, brought on by the political situation.

At a discussion entitled 'How to Invest if Thai Economy Stagnates', Praphat Tanphibunsak, chief investment officer at Krungsri Asset Management Co. Ltd., gave his evaluation that the prolonged political problem will result in the Thai economy expanding by only 2% this year. Listed companies' profit growth are expected to decline, especially in those industries relating to state sector projects – namely, agricultural industries and automotive industries. Profits are now expected to grow by 5-8% instead of the earlier anticipated 10-12%. Mr. Praphat views that the stock index would retreat to the 1,200-and-higher level.

Similarly, Prin Phanitchaphak, managing director of CLSA Securities, views that the Thai stock index may retreat below 1,300 points due to the economy slowing down as a result of the political situation and the decline of listed companies' profits. There is also a tendency for foreign investors to divert their money to other stock markets in the region, especially those in Vietnam, Singapore, China and Hong Kong, where the indices have been gaining while stock prices are cheaper. He suggests that during the current period of prolonged political situation and economic slowdown, investors should hold shares in companies with good fundamentals and which pay dividends, for example those in the communications, energy and real estate sectors.

BURIRAM 26 March 2014  A recent surge in ID card applications is taking place in Buriram as residents hurry to ready their required IDs for the upcoming senatorial election held on March 30. 

BANGKOK, 26 March 2014  Top officials in the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) are called to a meeting to prepare for the 3rd Lower Mekong Tourism City Mayors’ Summit, to which Bangkok will play host in 2014.

The Tuesday meeting was chaired by Deputy Bangkok Governor Amorn Kitchawengkul and attended by high-level officials led by BMA Permanent Secretary Ninnart Chalitanont.

The upcoming summit will be preceded by a meeting of senior officials from tourism cities in the Mekong sub-region, namely Phnom Penh, Vientiane, Yangon, Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok.

High on the summit’s agenda will be an exchange of young tourism envoys and cooperation among the governors of the five tourism cities.

BANGKOK, 25 March 2015 Mr. Chai Nakornchai, Director of the Department of Cultural Promotion, reports that the department is setting guidelines to closely monitor and control, the internet game playing behavior of children during school breaks. He says that there have been complaints about addiction to games, and internet social media abuse. The behavior also mirrored the immaturity of school children and their reluctance to use media properly. He had asked for co-operation from internet business owners to watch the children’s internet consumption.

The department has also set up a cultural center to be a place where children can enjoy a variety of activities such as cooking, dancing, painting, and Thai boxing. The activities center will be operating from 1pm to 5 pm, Thursday to Sunday. The center can hold up to 2000 people.The department hopes to continue the project to help the children spend their free time more rewardingly.

BANGKOK, 26 March 2014  Around 120 billion baht worth of investment may be diverted from Thailand if the political situation prolongs until the end of the year, according to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC). 

TAK, 26 March 2014  Minister of Transport Chatchart Sitthiphan indicated on Tuesday that preliminary findings suggested the driver of the coach that plunged down a cliff in Tak had been speeding and trying to overtake the car in front, before the coach slipped out of the curve. 

BANGKOK, 26 March 2014  Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has assigned the Council of State, Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanjana, and PM's Office Minister Varathep Ratanakorn to meet up regarding the Constitution Court's decision to nullify the February 2nd general election. 

BANGKOK, 26 March 2014 The National Anti Corruption Commission (NACC) has denied a request by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s legal team to switch Mr. Wicha Mahakhun from the inquisition committee in the rice mortgage scheme fraud case.

NACC Secretary General Sansern Poljiak said the NACC considered the claim made by the PM’s lawyer team against Mr. Wicha as groundless.

Earlier, the Premier’s legal team filed a request to remove Mr. Wicha from the inquisition committee, claiming that Mr. Wicha, an NACC commissioner, had given an interview that showed disdains and bias against the Premier.

Mr. Sansern said the Prime Minister's legal team will be formally informed of the NACC’s decision. He also mentioned that the Prime Minister has yet to set the date to give testimony with the NACC, adding that his agency would meet to discuss further action if the Premier failed to show up by the March 31st deadline.

Touching on the investigation into the impeachment of 308 Senators and Members of Parliament involved in the Senate Origin Bill amendment, Mr. Sansern said the NACC should be able to conclude the case by the end of next month.

BANGKOK, 24 March 2014 The Ministry of Culture will hold a festival in honor of Rattanakosin Island from 19-21 April 2014. The year 2014 marks the 232nd anniversary of when King Rama I established Bangkok as the capital, dating back to 1782, when Rattanakosin was the historic center of the city.

There will be many interesting activities to teach the public about Bangkok from its earliest days to the present. An exhibition on Rattanakosin Island will be held in front of Thammasat University.

In Sanam Luang, cultural performances will be staged, along with concerts. Other events will include parades, beauty contests, and numerous artistic and cultural attractions that will be open to the public, including booths showing artistic works and period photographs of Rattanakosin.