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Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:13

BoT says Thai economy remains strong

Despite a slight increase in non-performing loans (NPLs) by commercial banks and high household debt levels, Thailand’s general economy remains stable, a spokesman for the Bank of Thailand (BoT) said last week.

Spokesman Chirathep Senivongs Na Ayudhya said the public should not worry about an announcement made earlier by rating agency Standard and Poor’s on Thailand’s economic growth, saying it could be unstable and negatively affect financial institutions.

The central bank, he said, asserts that the country’s economy is still stable and financial institutions are performing normally even as nonperforming loans during the third quarter stood at 2.34 percent, up slightly from 2.15 percent at the end of 2013, which was considered as “not too high and steady,” Chirathep said.

Commercial bank reserves for possible NPLs at the end of September stood at 135 percent, displaying their financial strength, he said.

Household debt, which stood at 83.5 percent of gross domestic product at the end of the second quarter this year, although high, was not a major factor impacting the country’s economic recovery, he said.

But it should serve as a warning to the government not to stimulate the economy through more borrowing. There are signs that household debt has declined since the end of 2013 and it would continue to fall with the country’s economy improvement in 2015.

Chirathep said the BoT’s Monetary Policy Committee still has no plan to ease its policy rate as it must consider the country’s latest economic figures when it meets for the last time this year on December 17.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014 14:19

October vehicle sales drop to 54,187 units

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 - Vehicle sales for October 2014 declined to 54,187 units from 55,078 units in the corresponding month last year, the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) said.

It said both the passenger and commercial segments recorded lower sales in October with volume for the former dropping to 47,544 units from 47,930 units a year before while that of the latter plummeted to 6,643 units from 7,148 units.

Year-to-date, it said the total industry sales volume was 1.01 per cent higher at 546,492 units against 543,048 units in the corresponding period last year.

The output of total commercial and passenger vehicles last month decreased to 45,763 units from 54,549 units a year before, MAA said.

The output of the passenger segment in October declined to 41,133 units from 50,184 units in the corresponding month last year while volume for the commercial segment rose to 4,630 units from 4,365 units.

On prospects, MAA said sales volume for November is expected to maintain the September momentum as consumers are expected to face difficulties in getting hire purchase loans.

Jakarta, Nov 19 - The Indonesian National Police will deploy two-thirds of its personnel to contain possible disruptive situations in the wake of the governments decision to raise the price of subsidized fuels on Monday night.

"It is true that the current situation is very conducive and safe. But with the policy implemented, I think the police force is obligated to contain any impacts it might have," Chief of the National Police, General Sutarman, said in the premises of the Presidential Palace here on Tuesday.

"Gasoline stations have been guarded since last night. The security situation has been relatively conducive so far," he stated.

To ensure that such a secure situation prevails, he added that the ranks and files of the Indonesian police were now on alert status one.

"It is true that we ordered alert status one yesterday. This means that two-thirds of our personnel will be on standby at gasoline stations and distribution points," he affirmed.

On Monday night, President Joko Widodo decided to increase the price of subsidized fuel, including premium fuel, from Rp6.5 thousand to Rp8.5 thousand per liter and that of diesel oil from Rp5.5 thousand to Rp7.5 thousand per liter.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014 14:17

China ICT market to grow steadily: analysts

BEIJING, Nov 19 - The information and communication technology (ICT) market in China will grow steadily in the upcoming years, analysts with International Data Corporation (IDC) said on Tuesday.

"China's ICT market will expand at an annual rate of seven percent from 2013 to 2020," predicted Kitty Fok, managing director of IDC China.

"By 2020, revenue from the information technology market and telecommunication services will both reach 300 billion U.S. dollars," said the director of the market intelligence firm.

Wu Lianfeng, associate vice president of IDC China, said five factors will decide the future of the business: overall economic strength, government policy, technological progress, industrial restructuring and changes in consumer habits.

Wu said stable economic growth in China in years to come will sustain steady development in ICT. Ambitious targets in shifting the growth model, raising incomes and protecting environment will unlock great opportunities for ICT companies.

Technological progress in robots, 3D printing, the Internet of Things and other related fields will speed up innovation, said Wu.

BANGKOK, Nov 18 -- Some 70 per cent of foreign tourists queried said imposing martial law did not affect their decision to visit Thailand, while 86 per cent thought the country was safe for tourists, according to the poll. 

BANGKOK, Nov 18 -- Thai Minister of Public Health Dr Rajata Rajatanavin will attend the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in Rome, Italy. 

BANGKOK, Nov 18 -- The Thai Ministry of Public Health has ordered all of its provincial offices to be cautious against all types of bird flu throughout the coming winter season, particularly in areas with history of infections and provinces along the border.

BANGKOK, Nov 18 --  The cabinet today increased the cost-of-living allowance for low-ranking government officials to raise their minimum monthly income to at least Bt10,000.

BANGKOK, Nov 18 -- Representatives of the Bhumjaithai and Chartthaipattana parties proposed to the Constitution Drafting Committee that political parties should not be dissolved easily.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014 13:56

Thai Army hasn't grounded Bell 212 helicopters

BANGKOK, Nov 18 – The Thai Army has given assurances that it will not ground its Bell 212 helicopters, despite one of the type having crashed Monday in Phayao, killing nine military personnel.

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