PTT shares drop sharply after Bang Bo explosion #SootinClaimon.Com

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PTT shares drop sharply after Bang Bo explosion

EconOct 26. 2020

By The Nation

The share price of PTT on Monday dropped sharply by Bt0.50 or 1.55 per cent to Bt31.75 per share with transactions tallying at Bt121 million after a natural gas pipe exploded in Samut Prakan’s Bang Bo district on Thursday afternoon.

PTT informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that the company had cut the natural gas pipeline network to control the fire in line with safety standards.

“After initial damage assessment, the company was still able to procure and deliver natural gas to consumers in the area. PTT also has insurance coverage to compensate for damages, business interruption and third-party liabilities in line with international standards,” PTT said.

SET falls but expected to take a cue from special Parliament session #SootinClaimon.Com

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SET falls but expected to take a cue from special Parliament session

EconOct 26. 2020

By The Nation

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) Index fell by 3.07 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 1,210.54 in the morning session on Monday.

An analyst at Krungsri Securities expected the index to fluctuate between 1,205 and 1,220 due to uncertainty over rising Covid-19 cases in US, the rollout of US economic stimulus measures and falling oil price.

However, he said the index would rebound from Thailand Parliament’s extraordinary session to ease political tensions.

As an investment strategy, he recommended that investors buy TU, STGT, STA, CBG, SCC, IVL, COM7, SYNEX, ASIAN, DELTA, HANA, SVI and TVO, whose third-quarter performance is expected to improve.

The SET Index closed at 1,213.61 on Thursday, down 2.87 points or 0.24 per cent, while transactions amounted to Bt66 billion with an index high of 1,223.48 and a low of 1,204.73. The index was closed on Friday for Chulalongkorn Memorial Day.

Toyobo and Indorama Polyster to build new plant for automobile airbag yarns #SootinClaimon.Com

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Toyobo and Indorama Polyster to build new plant for automobile airbag yarns

CorporateOct 26. 2020
From left: Ashok Arora, chief executive officer of Toyobo-Indorama Advanced Fibers Co Ltd, and Seiji Narahara, president of Toyobo Co Ltd.From left: Ashok Arora, chief executive officer of Toyobo-Indorama Advanced Fibers Co Ltd, and Seiji Narahara, president of Toyobo Co Ltd. 

By The Nation

Toyobo Co Ltd has joined hands with Indorama Polyester Industries Pcl (IPI) to set up a joint venture firm for the manufacture of yarns for automobile airbags.

IPI is a part of Indorama Ventures Pcl, the world’s largest polyethylene terephthalate producer. 

The joint venture company plans to build a new plant on the IPI factory site in Rayong province, and start operations in the first quarter of 2022.

The airbag market is expected to continue growing at three-four per cent annually, thanks to an increase in the number of airbags installed per vehicle and growth in the proportion of vehicles equipped with airbags in emerging economies. 

In 2014, Toyobo and IVL jointly acquired PHP Fibers GmbH, a German airbag yarn-maker that held the second-largest share in the world at that time. Since then the relationship has grown stronger with many joint activities carried out between Toyobo and PHP, the companies said.

The joint venture will produce PA66 airbag yarns and ramp up efforts to expand their airbag business. The JV will be an integral part of the Indorama Mobility Group.

IVL, with its presence in Thailand, is undertaking the manufacturing for the proposed JV, with 100 per cent offtake by Toyobo for its weaving plant. Production capacity is expected to be a maximum of 11,000 tonnes per annum.

Toyobo said it aims to meet global clients’ needs as the sole manufacturer capable of producing and supplying airbag materials ranging from yarn to fabrics at its five operations hubs in Japan, Thailand, China, the United States and Europe.

Gold price flat in Thailand after falling slightly from the previous close #SootinClaimon.Com

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Gold price flat in Thailand after falling slightly from the previous close

EconOct 26. 2020

By The Nation

The price of gold was unchanged in morning trade on Monday, the Gold Traders Association reported.

As of 9.27am, the buying price of a gold bar was Bt28,100 per baht weight and selling price Bt28,200, while gold ornaments were priced at Bt27,591.20 and Bt28,700, respectively.

At close on Saturday, the association announced a change in the precious metal’s price once, causing the price to drop by Bt50 per baht weight.

Spot gold price moved to US$1,900 (Bt59,533) per ounce in the morning after the price rose by 60 cents to $1,905.2 per ounce at close on Friday due to the weakening dollar and uncertainty over the rollout of US economic stimulus measures.

A crude quandary for Gulf states and Pakistan #SootinClaimon.Com

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A crude quandary for Gulf states and Pakistan

EconOct 26. 2020Photo Credit: DawnPhoto Credit: Dawn 

By Dawn

SLIDING market prices, lowering demand and healthy output projections are set to hit the single product, oil-rich economies of the Middle East, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its report last week.

All this was anticipated.

Oil-rich Gulf states are now expected to see a six per cent real GDP contraction this year, the report said. Real GDP growth for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states averaged 4.7pc from 2000 to 2016. “On average, we will see growth going negative by 6.6pc for oil-exporting countries,” Jihad Azour, director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia department told CNBC, last week.

While oil prices have recovered from their historic plunge in March, international benchmark Brent crude is still trading nearly 40pc below pre-pandemic levels. And the IMF doesn’t see oil prices staging a dramatic recovery anytime soon. IMF projections say prices would stay in the $40 to $50 range in 2021. That’s still half the $80 per barrel figure Saudi Arabia – the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) – needs to balance its budget.

Future projections are not rosy too. IMF sees the oil prices to stay between $40 to $45 until at least early next year, adding it could “be between $40 to $50 next year overall.”

As per the IMF while demand remains a key variable, yet “addition to global supplies that could come from alternative energies” would also play a significant role in determining the direction of the crude markets.

Further, amid the second wave of the pandemic gripping the world, for the time, the oil demand outlook remains grim too. The International Energy Agency in September cut its outlook for worldwide oil demand to 91.7 million barrels per day (bpd) for the year, a daily contraction of 8.4m barrels, year-on-year, and more than the contraction of 8.1m predicted in the agency’s August report. With the second pandemic wave already in play, it could go even further down.

The Opec is projecting an even worse outlook for 2020, slashing its view for global oil demand last month to an average of 90.2m bpd in 2020, a contraction of 9.5m bpd year-on-year, CNBC reported. The Opec described crude outlook as “anemic,” warning, risks remain “elevated and skewed to the downside”.

All these carry significant connotations to the almost single-product economies of the oil-rich Gulf states. In line with the IMF projections, the World Bank also believes the economies in the Middle East and North Africa are set to contract more deeply than initially estimated.

The bank revised its estimate to a 5.2pc shrinkage this year versus an April forecast of a 1.1pc contraction, the updated regional economic outlook published last week reported.

Plagued by sanctions and the growing pandemic, the IMF says that the Iranian GDP is also projected to decline by about 6pc in 2020. This would be the third consecutive annual decline in Iran’s GDP. In a report released on April 14, the IMF had put Iran’s GDP decline in 2019 at 7.6pc and in 2018 at 5.4pc.

Updating the net debt owed by the Iranian government, as per the IMF estimates, it is set to touch the $260 billion marks by 2020 — equivalent to 44pc of Iran’s gross domestic product.

Before the re-imposition of US sanctions on Tehran in 2018, Iran’s net debt amounted to less than $118bn.

Ever since Iran’s oil exports have declined by around 90pc when compared to the period before the US re-imposed sanctions on Iranian crude exports. The pandemic has also hit Iran and its economy badly, killing thousands and infecting tens of thousands of people.

The emerging scenario has significant ramifications for Pakistan and its economy. Pakistan is deeply connected to that part of the world. On the pretext of a growing budgetary deficit, already Saudi Arabia had to ask Pakistan to pay back $1bn, which was deposited in Pakistan’s treasury to stabilise its economy.

Ominous clouds on the Gulf horizon may also put the jobs of thousands of Pakistanis employed in that part of the world in jeopardy.

In a contracting economic scenario, thousands of overseas Pakistanis employed in the oil-rich Gulf states may now find it difficult to hold on to their jobs. Many amongst them may have to return, sooner rather than later.

This would also impact the flow of remittance — the lifeline of the Pakistani economy in these turbulent times. For Pakistan to manage its economy in the emerging scenario, would be extremely difficult if not impossible.

Strong recovery in capital flows to Asia-6 in 2021 #SootinClaimon.Com

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Strong recovery in capital flows to Asia-6 in 2021

EconOct 26. 2020Further contributions to the overall drop in non-resident flows to Asia-6 stem from South Korea (-US$12bil) and Malaysia (US$5bil), while Thailand is projected to see a small increase in inflows, the IIF says.

Further contributions to the overall drop in non-resident flows to Asia-6 stem from South Korea (-US$12bil) and Malaysia (US$5bil), while Thailand is projected to see a small increase in inflows, the IIF says. 

By The Star

Among emerging-market (EM) economies, six Asian countries have stood out as major benefactors of foreign capital flows in recent years.

Calling these countries the Asia-6, comprising Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, South Korea and the Philippines, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) says they are taking up an increasingly important place on the EM investment map.

The global association of the financial industry attributes this to the region’s financial opening and the role it has played in the globalisation of goods and services trade over the past three decades.

Reflecting the increasing appeal of Asia-6, it notes, non-resident capital flows to these countries accounted for 28% of total EM flows last year, compared with 20% in 2010 and 12% in 2000.

According to the IIF, as Asia-6 emerge from the Covid-19 crisis, non-resident capital flows to the region are projected to recover in 2021, increasing to US$275bil from the estimated US$210bil this year.

“The Asia-6 are benefiting from better growth prospects, solid macro fundamentals, the advancement of reforms, and strong external positions, ” the IIF explains.

“A new wave of Covid-19 infections, similar to current developments in Europe and the United States, and the potential need for renewed lockdowns (however) represents the main downside risk to the outlook, ” it adds.

The IIF’s projection for this year is that foreign capital flows to Asia-6 would decline about 25% this year amid a damped economic outlook because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It expects foreign flows to the region to come in at US$210bil in 2020, compared with US$282bil in 2019, with the decline largely attributable to sharply lower portfolio capital inflows as well as weaker foreign direct investment (FDI).

Specifically, foreign capital flows to the region is expected to come in lower in the second half of this year, following a temporary pickup during the three months to June 2020.

“With China and the Asia-6 experiencing the first wave of Covid-19 much earlier than other regions, the capital flows picture deteriorated primarily in the first quarter of 2020 as a result of large portfolio investment outflows of US$38bil (US$25bil in stocks and US$13bil in bonds), but also showed strong signs of a rebound in the second quarter of the year when most countries around the world experienced the worst lockdown effects, ” the IIF explains.

“The significantly weaker picture in the last six months of 2020 is a result of sharply lower other investment and still-muted portfolio investment, while recovering FDI plays a supportive role, ” it adds.

Within the Asia-6, dynamics vary between countries, largely reflecting idiosyncratic risks, the IIF says.

India, which ranks second in the world in total Covid-19 infections, and for which it forecasts an unprecedented economic contraction of 11.3% this year, is responsible for roughly half of the total decline in flows to the Asia-6 from 2019-2020, that is, a drop of US$38bil.

The Philippines, where pandemic-related lockdowns were the most stringent in the region, are expected to experience the largest drop in percentage terms, that is, down 41% or US$7bil.

Indonesia, on the other hand, is in a somewhat better position, benefitting from stronger foreign purchases of domestic bonds and timely fiscal and monetary responses, the IIF says.

Nonetheless, it expects, non-resident flows to Indonesia to fall 28% year-on-year to US$15bil in 2020.

Further contributions to the overall drop in non-resident flows to Asia-6 stem from South Korea (-US$12bil) and Malaysia (US$5bil), while Thailand is projected to see a small increase in inflows, the IIF says.

Meanwhile, FDI has been an important source of external financing for EM Asia.

“Inflows are attracted by the region’s critical role in global supply chains as well as large home markets.

“However, we expect FDI inflows to decline to US$90bil in 2020, ” the IIF says.

“2021 will see a full recovery of FDI to the Asia-6 as a result of improving economic fundamentals and diminishing effects of Covid-19 – coming in 10% higher than in 2019 at US$119bil, ” it adds.

In the medium term, the region’s positive growth outlook and a potential diversification of global supply chains away from China will continue to drive robust increases, it says.

Turning to foreign holdings of domestic government debt, the IIF projects reductions in all except in the case of South Korea.

“We expect foreign investors to continue to differentiate within the region on the basis of macroeconomic fundamentals, reform steps taken, and assessments of political stability, ” the IIF says.

In general, the outcome of the US presidential election will be a significant determinant of the financial account outlook for Asia-6 in 2021, with trade and investment policies as the most important factor, it adds.

Government to draw up list of Covid-19 low-risk countries to consider easing restrictions #SootinClaimon.Com

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Government to draw up list of Covid-19 low-risk countries to consider easing restrictions

EconOct 26. 2020

By The Nation

The Public Health Ministry will make a list of low-risk countries for the Covid-19 pandemic, which will be submitted to the Interior Ministry to draw up criteria for further easing restrictions on entry of foreigners into the country.

Government Spokesman Anuchai Burapachaisri said that the list would also be used to consider reduction of the quarantine period from the current mandatory 14 days.

Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council, said that it was important to set up clear criteria to grant foreigners entry.

The Centre for Economic Situation Administration at a recent meeting reportedly discussed the private sector’s proposal to ease restrictions on the entry of foreign investors and business persons, including a shorter quarantine period.

The Public Health, Tourism and Sports and Foreign ministries are jointly drawing up clearer rules on this.

Deputy PM outlines govt strategies to revive Thai economy in wake of Covid-19 outbreak #SootinClaimon.Com

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Deputy PM outlines govt strategies to revive Thai economy in wake of Covid-19 outbreak

EconOct 26. 2020Deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow outlines strategies of reviving the flagging economy.Deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow outlines strategies of reviving the flagging economy. 

By Nakarin Srilert

The Nation

Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, who is also energy minister, has outlined strategies to boost national revenue next year in a bid to reinvigorate the economy in the fallout of Covid-19.

He said the government will continue wooing targeted foreign investors to the much-touted Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

The EEC has already made progress in launching mega infrastructure projects, including the development of a high-speed railway linking the country’s three main international airports and the development of the U-Tapao International Airport and the Eastern Airport City.

The government will also soon clarify the criteria of reopening the country to foreign tourists and foreign investors.

He added that the authorities should come up with clear cut answers within this month on whether the quarantine period for new arrivals will be reduced from 14 days. The reduction should be applied to travellers from low-risk countries, he said, adding that this will be one way of wooing more foreigners to visit Thailand.

The Public Health Ministry will come up with a list on countries with high, medium and low risk of infection for the government to consider if the quarantine period should be reduced.

The minister added that the government will also devise measures to encourage foreigners to spend at least Bt100,000 per person from the current average of Bt50,000.

Thailand welcomes some 40 million tourists per year on average, generating a revenue of Bt3 trillion. However, these numbers have plunged after entry was restricted as part of efforts to curb the outbreak.

He said the Board of Investment and related agencies are also working on measures to woo foreigners to buy properties in Thailand via special measures.

Last month, the government’s Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) approved in principle amendments to the criteria of granting permanent residence and smart visa to foreigners in a bid to lure more investment.

The centre is considering the option of granting permanent residence to buyers of condominium units, provided applicants do not mortgage, sell or transfer this asset for five years after purchase.

The Prayut Chan-o-cha administration is continuing to launch stimulus measures to boost the subdued economy.

Recently it launched tourism promotion and personal income tax deduction measures to boost people purchasing power, which are estimated to generate Bt200 billion in the last three months of this year.

BOT extends debt clinic scheme until June next year #SootinClaimon.Com

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BOT extends debt clinic scheme until June next year 

EconOct 25. 2020

By The Nation

The central bank has just evaluated its debt clinic scheme, which offered a rate cut and debt moratorium from April to September, and the committee in charge of the project was satisfied with the outcome, Thanyanit Niyomkarn, Bank of Thailand (BOT) assistant governor, said on Saturday.

About 94 per cent of retail debtors were still able to pay their debt instalments while only 6 per cent had to avail of a debt moratorium.

Looking ahead, the economic outlook for Thailand is not bright and subject to uncertainty. The committee has, therefore, decided to extend the debt clinic until June next year, she said.

Regarding the debt clinic operation, Thanyanit said that the 2 per cent rate cut incentive had encouraged the majority of debtors to continue their debt payments between April and September. Nearly 74 per cent of them could fully pay the instalments, while 20 per cent could pay partially.

The rate cut and debt moratorium helped lessen the burden on people hit hard by the Covid-19-induced crisis, she said.

The committee predicted that those who face declining income or lost their jobs would enter the debt cycle if the central bank and financial institutions did not provide them financial aid.

So those who were unable to repay their debt could register for help with the debt clinic on website: http://www.คลินิกแก้หนี้.com by November, she said.

They will be allowed a debt holiday until June next year.

Those could pay partial instalments would receive a rate cut between 1 to 2 per cent in order to enhance their ability to repay the debt.

Those who can pay up to 80 per cent of the debt amount in the next nine months will get a rate cut at 2 per cent. Those who repay between 40 to 79.99 per cent of the debt will get a rate cut of 1 per cent.

New debtors who owe money on their credit cards, or personal loans, could apply for help between now and June next year, and will receive a rate cut in the range of 1 to 2 per cent too.

As of September, the debt clinic operation covered 24,000 credit cards, covering 8,300 debtors. Each on average has three credit cards. Each has debt of about Bt240,000. Some 900 are waiting for the signing of contracts with financial institutions and 1,200 are in the process of entering the debt clinic at financial institutions. This year, debtors participating in the debt clinic are estimated to be over 10,000, she added.

Lifting of state of emergency opens doors for economic recovery despite ongoing protests, says academic #SootinClaimon.Com

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Lifting of state of emergency opens doors for economic recovery despite ongoing protests, says academic

EconOct 25. 2020Pro-democracy protesters gather at the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok’s shopping district on Sunday. Photo by Korbphuk Phromrekha
Pro-democracy protesters gather at the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok’s shopping district on Sunday. Photo by Korbphuk Phromrekha 

By The Nation

The government’s lifting of the state of emergency in Bangkok would ensure positive sentiment for economic recovery from the Covid-19 fallout, Anusorn Tamajai, a lecturer in economics at Rangsit University, said on Sunday.

The government imposed a severe state of emergency in Bangkok on October 15, aimed at cracking down on pro-democracy protesters who are demanding the resignation of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, want a new Constitution and reform of the monarchy.

But Prayut had to lift the state of emergency on October 22 after the government came under heavy pressure from local civic groups and the international community.

Anusorn said that lifting the state of emergency would boost consumer confidence to some extent and he forecast that the government’s stimulus packages would inject about Bt81 billion into the economy during the rest of the year. The cash handouts for state welfare card holders worth about Bt 21 billion would boost consumption, and tax deductions of up to Bt30,000 for each shopper would increase household consumption, he said.

He, however, played down the effectiveness of the domestic tourism package, as it has not drawn as many people as expected. He was cautious about the recovery of tourism as the government has started to open for a small number of foreign tourists. There is still uncertainty whether the government can contain the virus outbreak and create confidence among local people that foreign tourists will not spread the coronavirus again.

Anusorn predicted the economy would shrink by 8 per cent this year, but it could contract more than 8 per cent if the political tensions erupted in violence.

Apart from the parliamentary extraordinary session on Monday and Tuesday for dealing with the current crisis, Anusorn proposed additional talks between protesters, the government and other parties.

Protesters gathered at the Ratchaprasong intersection on Sunday ahead of Monday’s planned march to the Embassy of Germany in Bangkok.

Protesters had issued an ultimatum to PM Prayut to resign before October 24. As Prayut had ignored their demand, the protesters vowed to continue staging protests in Bangkok and other provinces.

At the Ratchaprasong shopping district, protesters shouted: “Prayut get out..Prayut get out”. They also repeated HM the King’s words: “very brave, very good, thank you”.

The King, on Friday, while greeting royalists who had gathered to commemorate Chulalongkorn Day, praised a man who had held up a portrait of the late King Rama IX during the pro-democracy protests against the establishment in front of Patapinklao shopping mall. The King’s words: “Very brave, very brave, very good, thank you”, have sparked a heated debate on social media since Friday. The #23OctEyesOpened hashtag was trending on Twitter, a short statement implying that the King was taking sides with the supporters of the monarchy, abandoning neutrality in politics in line with the constitutional provision. Royalists, however, argued that the incident was not about politics.