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Fri, July 01, 2005

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LOAN INTEREST: Kbank to hike rates

Domino effect expected after the first increase among large banks in 2 years. Kasikornbank (Kbank) yesterday took a lead in the market, announcing it would raise its lending rates across the board by 25 basis points from July 4.

Deficit for first five months hits $4.7 bn

With import growth accelerating and exports slowing, the current account piled up a US$4.7-billion (Bt193-billion) deficit in the first five months of the year, according to Bank of Thailand figures.

Express couriers bank on new airport

Major express delivery companies are making huge investments at Suvarnabhumi Airport, which is expected to help make Thailand a new regional hub both for air travel and cargo.

Fake products ‘pose a threat to fashion hub ambition’

German leather industry experts have warned Thailand’s shoe and leather goods manufacturers and exporters to eliminate counterfeit goods, and focus on improving production to pave the way for establishing Bangkok as a regional fashion centre.

Mercedes A-Class tops EU crash tests

Despite its small size, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class has topped its class on crash tests to the European NCAP standard (New Car Assessment Programme) and has been awarded five stars.

Bill Gates sets out his vision for digital age

The next 10 years will be the “digital decade” as more activities become digitally based, said Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman and chief software architect. There will be more portable devices, PC s will recognise speech input, software will recognise computer users’ handwriting, all software will come via the Internet and software will be the key to everything, he said.

ANALYSIS: Investors need to see politicians’ families face the same rules

The move to charge a politician’s relatives with accounting fraud shows that the exchange watchdog is getting more serious about tackling irregularities. But strong cooperation will be required from related agencies to ensure prosecution and punishment, the Business Desk writes.

PACTS WITH NZ, ASEAN-CHINA: Free-trade deals kick off today

Implementation of the China-Asean free-trade agreement begins today, but doubts remain as to whether the combined 1.8 billion-strong market will benefit Thailand and other members of the regional grouping due to China’s domestic trade regulations and the question of access to its wealthier regions.

‘Drop ban on Egat deals with SPPs’

Thailand may face a power crisis next summer as reserves are expected to fall below the minimum needed, an energy expert has warned.

STREET WISE: Flatnose spills beans on Q’tec

It is astonishing that Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit survived a no-confidence debate at a time when public opinion polls show extraordinarily low confidence in him.

INTRA-GROUP HOTEL DEALS: SET demands more information

Exchange not happy with explanations from Natural Park and Pacific Assets

POULTRY FARMERS: Panel suspects funds misused

Senators suspect that government funds provided to poultry farmers affected by the bird flu have been misused and urge caution in granting further bail-out loans to the sector.

Chamber predicts deficit at 8-year high

The Thai Chamber of Commerce University expects the current-account deficit will hit an eight-year record high this year at US$1.46 billion (Bt60.2 billion) due to the rising trade deficit, sluggish tourism and lower-than-expected export growth of 13.3 per cent, compared to the government’s expectation of 20 per cent.

Cash raised via IPOs declines

The total funds raised through initial public offerings on the country’s two bourses fell in the first half of the year, even though more companies were going public.

KTB sells Bt16 bn of NPLs

Krung Thai Bank will record on its books the sale of Bt16 billion worth of non-performing loans to Asset Management Corp in the month of June.

FRIDAY BUG: Kittiratt explodes

Many people misunderstand what journalism is, including Kittiratt Na Ranong, president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand. They think a newspaper is some kind of public relations rag that should only publish things they’ve been praised for.

ELECTROLUX: Switching to Rayong

Appliance giant sees potential in Asean markets

Cheap long-distance calls to be extended

True Corp and TOT Corp will extend their cheap long-distance call tariffs to benefit fixed-line consumers and to compete against the dominant mobile-phone service.

COMPANY REPORTS

ADVANCE AGRO will issue debentures totalling US$250 million (Bt10.3 billion) for the purpose of repaying a long-term loan. The term of the debentures – which may be offered at one time or in tranches – will not exceed 10 years.

APPLIANCES SECTOR: Chinese goods ‘must meet same standards’

Local firms say dumped low-quality products killing their businesses; officials accused