The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) on Tuesday implemented a three-year strategy to create a modern capital market for the sustainability of business and social sectors.
Capital markets channel the money of savers into long-term productive use by companies or governments.
SET president Pakorn Peetathawatchai said the strategy would place the capital market at the centre of investment, making it work for everyone in the digital era.
This would be achieved by promoting financial awareness among Thai people to improve their quality of life, he added. “Meanwhile, the SET is ready to support the business sector’s role in taking care of society and the environment to boost the country’s sustainability.”
Pakorn said the strategy consists of three aspects:
New opportunities in every sector: SET will help companies raise funds, enhance the quality of capital market-listed firms, enable people to access investments, and boost opportunities for overseas investment. For instance, SMEs and start-ups will be able to access funds via the LiVE Exchange, due to open in the first quarter.
Digital infrastructure development: SET will expand efficient and reliable digital infrastructure, develop new platforms linking trade of existing and digital assets, and create business opportunities via digital analysis. For instance, a Thai Digital Assets Exchange to meet new-generation investors’ demand is due to open by the third quarter.
Promoting financial sustainability: SET will build public awareness of environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, personal finance, promote environment-related projects and strengthen cybersecurity in the Thai capital market. For instance, it will build more partnerships under the Climate Care Platforms to tackle climate change.
Pakorn said the strategy would help create a modern investment ecosystem that meets demands of asset issuers, investors and stakeholders while boosting Thai capital market growth.
The biggest risks for markets in 2022 are inflation, the coronavirus, and geopolitical tensions, according to some 700 respondents to a Markets Live Global Survey.
More than 30% cited inflation as among their biggest worries when asked, “What do you see as the biggest tail-risk for markets in 2022 and what probability do you put on this tail-risk transpiring?” Respondents often tied the risks of higher inflation to central banks either falling behind the curve, or tightening too quickly.
Over a quarter were concerned about the coronavirus, with almost half of those focused on a new variant. The more detailed responses cited governments imposing new restrictions or central banks adjusting their policy in response.
About 23% cited geopolitical tensions, and 16% specifically used the terms war, invasion or conflict. The main examples given were rising tensions between China and Taiwan, and Russia and Ukraine, particularly the possibility of an invasion. Any escalation in either case was seen as a segue to greater conflict involving more countries.
The fourth highest tail-risk, with 13% of responses, was the Federal Reserve, particularly the chance the U.S. central bank would tighten interest rates too fast. More broadly, 10% said that policy errors were a tail risk. While 5% cited risks associated with central banks globally, responses were split on the likelihood of policy makers either falling behind or overreacting to inflation.
When it comes to China, respondents saw both geopolitical and domestic risks. Contagion linked to China’s economic situation was frequently cited, with the potential for slower growth and an impact on the housing market.
Some other cited risks included: Supply chain (5%), cryptocurrencies (4%), and stagflation (2.6%).
The Markets Live Global Survey, conducted from December 5-18, had 873 respondents. Of those, 44% were based in North America, 37% in Europe, and 10% in Asia. The top three primary job roles were portfolio manager (35%), research/strategy/economist (15%), and buy-side trader (12%).
The methodology involved in analyzing the 672 responses to the tail-risk question included tallying the frequency of terms, and calculating the percentages against the number of responses to this question. Specifics were then manually analyzed.
Thailand is working to develop smart cities to stimulate the economy and improve people’s quality of life, Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said at the virtual “Thailand Move On: Reshaping Smart City Landscape” forum.
The forum, organised by Nation TV, kicked off on December 15.
The development of smart cities is part of the government’s 20-year Thailand 4.0 strategy.
A smart city is defined as one that utilises modern technology and innovation to sustainably facilitate management, boost economic value and improve residents’ quality of life. This can be achieved with the cooperation of the public and private sectors.
A prosperous future
Chaiwut said the environment and energy play a key part in development, especially since cities are expanding exponentially.
He pointed out that the Asean population is expected to rise by 84 million people by 2030. As of 2020, the region’s population was estimated at 661.5 million.
“Expanding cities offer opportunities in economic growth, employment, a better quality of life, trade, investment and business,” he said.
“However, they also pose challenges such as pollution, crimes, traffic jams and dangers to life and property.”
He explained that Thailand is working to develop smart cities based on citizens’ demands, terrain and culture. The focus is on:
Environment: Ensuring all operations are eco-friendly.
Economy: Helping residents use technology to generate revenue.
Mobility: Making infrastructure convenient and safe.
Governance: Making governance fair and transparent, and also encouraging people’s participation.
Living: Giving residents easy access to medical services and keeping the crime rate low.
People: Improving people’s skills to improve their opportunities.
Energy: Using energy efficiently and sustainably.
“Up to 50 areas in 29 provinces have been earmarked and 15 have been approved by the smart cities committee,” he said. “Up to 36 areas in 23 provinces are getting ready to propose development plans.”
To promote the development of smart cities, the government has launched measures to encourage businesses to develop digital infrastructure and improve the skills of their workforce.
“Smart city development will also focus on sustainability, so residents have a clean environment, clean energy and good quality of life. Hence, public cooperation is very important,” he added.
Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) deputy governor Jaturong Suriyasin said a smart grid was necessary for a smart city.
He added that MEA’s mission is to meet rising demands and ensure that quality and stability is maintained to ensure confidence among users. He also said that power cables are now being laid underground and modern power systems developed to support fast-moving digital disruption.
He added that MEA also has several ongoing projects to produce and consume power in eco-friendly ways, such as building smart grids, solar rooftops and promoting electric vehicles.
“In the future, solar panels will be installed on the roof of every house to enable people to generate and sell electricity,” he said.
“The Cabinet on August 24 approved the use of electric vehicles [EVs] by all government agencies from next year. The project will start with agencies located in the capital.”
Jaturong added that MEA plans to set up charging stations across Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan next year to encourage people to use EVs.
He added that the agency will also help set up EV chargers in people’s homes if they want.
Meanwhile, Digital Government Development Agency (DGA) president Supot Tiarawut said the agency was working on digitising government services from three aspects – eservices, data sharing and staff development.
He added that DGA has launched an “open government data” website that provides information on different subjects like road accidents, population and other statistics.
Power of change
Assoc Prof Wisanu Subsompon, vice president of Chulalongkorn University’s Property and Innovation Management, said smart cities aim to improve people’s lives, so focusing on residents’ demands is necessary.
“Many factors can improve life, such as transportation, clean energy, environment and recreation,” he said.
“These factors directly affect us, so we have to find out how we can improve them so they are more convenient and can improve our quality of life.”
Samyan smart city, he said, still has a long way to go even though it is in the heart of Bangkok with Chulalongkorn University, schools, offices, residences and shopping malls in the vicinity.
“We may not have to apply high technology to our smart cities, but we should apply technology that meets people’s demands,” he said.
He added that apart from innovations and cooperation between public and private sectors, studying smart cities overseas is also important, so similar systems can be applied and Thai smart cities can become internationally well-known.
EA plans to expand the factory’s production capacity to 50 GWh per year in a bid to help Thailand become a manufacturing hub for electric vehicles and power storage.
Energy Absolute (EA) has launched the largest lithium-ion battery factory and integrated energy storage system in Asean courtesy Amita Technology (Thailand) in a bid to build a complete new S-Curve ecosystem.
The factory, located on a 90-rai plot in the Eastern Economic Corridor, will have a production capacity of 1 Gigawatt hours (GWh) per year.
The facility is designed to produce the pouch cell type of lithium-ion batteries using intelligent systems and modern automated production to ensure the highest efficiency and low-cost production.
EA plans to expand the factory’s production capacity to 50 GWh per year in a bid to help Thailand become a manufacturing hub for electric vehicles and power storage.
CEO Somphote Ahunai said the factory would be the heart of electric vehicle production and introduce stable renewable energy for daily use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
He said the facility’s production process also emphasises the concept of energy efficiency and waste reduction by focusing on recycling as much as possible.
“In cooperation with Amita Technologies, which is a manufacturer and distributor of lithium-ion batteries in Taiwan for more than 20 years, EA has entered into investment and experience and technology transfer in building the factory, which has a larger production capacity at world-class level,” Somphote said.
He explained that the pouch cell lithium-ion battery has high capacity, light weight and a long life cycle and does not contain harmful substances such as acid or lead.
He said the battery is environmentally friendly as it is easy to separate its positive and negative plates in the recycling process, thanks to special techniques to produce cells.
“In addition, Amita’s battery is designed to be compatible with Ultra-Fast Charge technology that can charge large electric vehicles in just 15 minutes and supports up to 3,000 charge cycles, which will be a welcome highlight in the use of large commercial electric vehicles,” Somphote said, pointing out that “the battery can be used in all types of electric vehicles, such as cars, trucks, buses and even boats to help reduce emissions caused by internal combustion engines.”
He said a 1 Gigawatt lithium-ion battery in 4,160 electric buses can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 91,709 tonnes per year and reduce diesel consumption by more than 97 million litres per year.
“Apart from being able to produce battery cells on its own, EA has expanded its supply chain to reduce costs, waste and external dependence,” Somphote said.
“In this regard, a solvent distillation tower was built to be used in battery cell manufacturing to purify the cells until they can be recycled, resulting in less waste and a reduction in raw materials imported from abroad,” he added.
Mr.Bunsom Kitkasetsathaporn (1st on the Left) CEO The Practical Solution Public Company (TPS) congratulated to subsidiary company “The Win Telecom Co., Ltd.”
Mr.Bunsom Kitkasetsathaporn (1st on the Left) CEO The Practical Solution Public Company (TPS) congratulated to subsidiary company “The Win Telecom Co., Ltd.” Represented by Mr.Jamnong Nitnara, Managing Director (middle of the picture) which successfully signed on the Saphan Project (Underground Fiber Cable) valued 557 Million Thai Baht along with Mr.Arthakrit Sastararuchi, CEO LXT Networks Co., Ltd. Jointed Venture with Verge Digital Infrastructure Pte., Ltd. (Singapore) represented by Mr.Boyke Laldjising (1st on the Right) on behalf of Mr.Chris Wilson, CEO Verge. Verge is deploying a network of open-access, edge data centres across South-East Asia starting with the Saphan Project in the south of Thailand. Led by LXT Networks, the Saphan Project includes east and west coast cable landing stations, a 2 MW Edge Data centre in Hat Yai. The facilities will be connected by a new underground, multipath, fiber optic network being constructed by WIN Telecom. The project will commence early in 2022.
Improving employees’ hard and soft skills is necessary to digitally transform organisations, experts said at the “Synergising Digital Leadership with People Leadership to Achieve Breakthroughs in 2022″ webinar on Thursday.
Studies conducted by several institutions worldwide show that 70 per cent of organisations failed to achieve digital transformation because their staff was not ready for the change.
Porntip Iyimapun, founder and CEO of PacRim Group, said most organisations face four challenges: fear of change, unclear direction, problems with organisation structure and lack of leadership.
“To deal with these challenges, leaders must build their credibility to gain trust, set up clear directions, manage systems and procedures in line with a new strategy and boost their staffs’ potential,” she said.
“Leaders alone cannot drive the organisation towards success. For that, they need to leverage all resources as much as possible.”
Meanwhile, Skooldio managing director Virot Chiraphadhanakul said many organisations failed with their digital transformation because of conflicts between technical and non-technical members of staff. He added that digital literacy was another important hard skill accepted by many organisations.
“If technical and non-technical staff members realise the opportunities and can utilise their digital skills, it will help boost the value of the business,” he said.
He added that many organisations have lost opportunities due to their failure in utilising digital skills due to the abovementioned challenges.
Gulf Energy Development CEO Sarath Ratanavadi is the wealthiest Thai stockholder for the third consecutive year, according to rankings compiled by Money & Banking magazine and Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy.
The rankings list major shareholders at close of trade on September 30, after the Stock Exchange of Thailand Index rose to 1,605.68 from 1,237.04 points last year.
The top ten wealthiest Thai shareholders in 2021 are:
1: Sarath Ratanavadi, Gulf Energy Development CEO, with total shareholding of THB173 billion, up by THB57.80 billion or 50.14 per cent last year.
2: Prasert Prasattong-Osoth, founder of Bangkok Dusit Medical Services and Bangkok Airways, with total shareholding of THB58.21 billion, up by THB8.13 billion or 16.25 per cent last year.
3: Niti Osathanugrah, heir to the Osotspa beverage empire, with total shareholding of THB56.25 billion, up by THB8.07 billion or 16.75 per cent last year.
4: Somphote Ahunai, CEO of Energy Absolute, with total shareholding of THB53.02 billion, up by THB18.61 billion or 54.09 per cent. Somphote moved up from eighth place last year.
5 and 6: Daonapa Petampai and Chuchat Petaumpai, who own shares in Muangthai Capital moved up one place from sixth and seventh last year, respectively.
Daonapa’s holdings were worth THB41.94 billion, up by THB6.48 billion or 18.27 per cent, while those of Chuchat were THB41.63 billion, up by THB6.35 billion or 18.01 per cent.
7: Vonnarat Tangkaravakoon, director of TOA Paints (Thailand), with total shareholding of THB35.10 billion, down THB6.11 billion or 14.83 per cent. Vonnarat moved down from fourth place last year.
8: Harald Link, chairman of B Grimm Power, with total shareholding of THB26.02 billion, down THB770.38 million or 2.87 per cent. Link moved up from tenth place last year.
9: Nutchamai Thanombooncharoen, managing director of Carabao Group, with total shareholding of THB25.20 billion, up by THB630 million or 2.56 per cent. Nutchamai moved up from eleventh place last year.
10: Keeree Kanjanapas, chairman of BTS Group Holdings, with total shareholding of THB24.63 billion, up by THB4.05 billion or 19.69 per cent. Keeree moved up from twelfth place last year.
The share of global wealth held by billionaires surged to a record during the Covid-19 crisis, according to a group founded by French economist Thomas Piketty.
About 2,750 billionaires control 3.5% of the world’s wealth, the Paris-based Global Inequality Lab said in a report Tuesday. That’s up from 1% in 1995, with the fastest gains coming since the pandemic hit, the group said. The poorest half of the planet’s population owns about 2% of its riches.
The study’s findings add to a debate about worsening inequality during a public health crisis that’s hurt developing economies — which are short of vaccines as well as financial resources to cushion the blow — even more than advanced ones. Within the rich world too, financial and real-estate markets have soared since the depths of the slump last year, widening domestic gaps.
Those pandemic trends come after decades of policy that was often geared toward people at the top, on the expectation that it would “trickle down” and everyone else would ultimately benefit too, according to Lucas Chancel, one of the report’s authors.
“There is really this polarization on top of a world that was already very unequal before the pandemic,” Chancel, co-director of the World Inequality Lab, said in an interview. He said billionaires accumulated 3.6 trillion euros ($4.1 trillion) of wealth during a crisis in which the World Bank estimates that some 100 million people have fallen into extreme poverty.
Across most parts of the world, the richest 10% of people control roughly 60% to 80% of wealth. But the report highlights some clear regional distinctions.
Overall, poorer countries have been catching up with richer ones — but within those developing nations, inequality has soared. Same-country disparities now account for more than two-thirds of global inequality, up from roughly half in 2000, according to the Lab.
Latin America and the Middle East are the world’s most unequal regions, with more than 75% of wealth in the hands of the top 10%, the report says. Russia and sub-Saharan Africa aren’t far behind.
Other emerging economies like India still suffer from a “missing middle class,” Chancel said. “Colonial inequalities have been replaced by market inequality.”
Wealth gaps are reflected in bigger carbon footprints, too. In North America, for example, the top 10% emits an average 73 metric tons per capita each year, compared with less than 10 tons for the poorest half.
Measured by both income and wealth, Europe is the most equitable region, according to the report. The 19% of total income earned by the poorest half of Europeans is higher than the equivalent share for that group anywhere else. Pandemic policies like income support for workers thrown out of their jobs likely helped prevent that gap from widening further.
“The Covid crisis has exacerbated inequalities between the very wealthy and the rest of the population,” said Chancel. “Yet in rich countries, government intervention prevented a massive rise in poverty.”
The World Inequality Report 2022 is based on work by more than 100 researchers around the globe, led by economists at the Paris School of Economics and the University of California at Berkeley. The first version of the study came out in 2018.
Jitta Wealth Asset Management advised people to invest in businesses related to megatrends during a webinar titled “Trends: Driving the Future” organised by Krungthep Turakij
Jitta Wealth Asset Management advised people to invest in businesses related to megatrends during a webinar titled “Trends: Driving the Future” organised by Krungthep Turakij on November 27. Asset management CEO Trawut Luangsomboon pointed out that megatrends are changing economic and social structures in the long term, such as electric vehicles (EV), digital health, robotics and artificial intelligence. He said 34 per cent of people are now involved in megatrends such as e-commerce and cloud computing.
He recommended investment in four trends that would continue to grow in the next ten years with expected returns of 20-30 per cent annually:
1. Cloud computing: the market value of this technology, which has disrupted the software business to facilitate data sharing, is US$371 billion (THB12.5 trillion), which is expected to hit $832 billion in five years. Asana and Bill.com are recommended for investment.
2. Fintech: the market value of this technology is $1 billion (THB33 billion) and is expected to reach $188 billion in three years, or 11.7 per cent annually, thanks to the growth of the payment business as many have used fintech amid the Covid-19 crisis. Adyen and Coinbase are recommended for investment.
3. Genomics: the market value of this technology, which will disrupt medical services with its high accuracy to improve people’s health, is expected to hit $72.13 billion (THB2.5 trillion) by 2030. Invitae and Moderna are recommended for investment.
4. Global clean energy: demand for this energy is expected to increase as its cost will be cheaper than current prices. Also, it has gained positive sentiment from the EV trend. Sunrun and XPeng are recommended for investment. Trawut also advised investors to follow metaverse after Facebook announced a name change to Meta with a mission to encourage people to connect with the online world. “Initially, the market value of metaverse is expected to reach $800 billion (THB27 trillion) with growth of 40 per cent annually. Hence, we advise investing in Meta and Nvidia,” he added.