PTT, BMTA in biodiesel deal
PTT and Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) have signed a deal for the supply of 20,000 litres of biodiesel, in a bid to increase biodiesel use amid palm oil oversupply, and also promote the use of alternative energy.
The diesel will contain 7 per cent biodiesel, so-called B7. Currently available at fuel stations nationwide are the 5-per cent biodiesel content, or B5.
PTT executive Saran Rangkasiri said the company would shoulder the difference in prices, as higher biodiesel content comes at a higher cost.
Initially, 10 public buses would be run with B7. They would need 1,500 litres of fuel per day.
Protest in Satun
against Bt2-tn bill
About 50 people from Langu district in Satun submitted a petition to the governor, opposing the government's planned Bt2-trillion borrowing bill.
Led by Vichoksak Ronarongpairee, the group asked the governor to pass on the petition to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
"The sum is huge and the government must thoroughly review this, or this could inflate public debt and all Thais would have to shoulder the responsibility in the long term," the leader said.
Of the total sum, about Bt50 billion has been earmarked for the Land Bridge project to link Songkhla and Satun. Under the project, Pak Bara Port will be constructed in Satun, which will be linked with ports in Songkhla with a double-track rail.
Longan, red onion
demand in I'nesia
Thailand's longan and red onion farmers will gain from Indonesia's recent announcement, which allows the import of upto 25,000 tonnes of longan and 60,000 tonnes of red onion in the first half of this year.
According to Doojduan Sasanavin, deputy secretary-general of the National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS), nearly all longan imports will come from Thailand while about half of red onions will be supplied by Thai suppliers.
She said the shipments should start this month.
"Thai exporters should closely monitor details of this announcement and the implementation, as the shipment is impossible without advice from Indonesia's agriculture ministry and import permits," she said.
Thailand normally exports about 70,000-100,000 tonnes of longan to Indonesia per annum, worth about Bt1.5 billion to Bt2 billion. Meanwhile, Thailand also sold to Indonesia about 20,000-30,000 tonnes of red onion, worth about Bt340 billion to Bt400 billion.
shut for repairs
Bangchak Petroleum has temporarily shut down its vacuum distillation unit, including the hydrocracking unit for further investigation and repairs.
The units will resume normal operations in early April 2013. Other operating units will continue to operate normally, and the company expects no significant impacts on its product sales to customers and annual performance, the company's president Vichien Usanachote said.
setback for auto firms
A half of the customers who had booked a car under the first-car scheme are not taking delivery as they had had a change of mind, Toyota Khon Kaen vice president Kamolpong Sanougtrakul said.
He added that at least 100 customers who had booked in December 2012 before the incentive expired, refused to take delivery of the car.
"We think they don't need to use the car but they booked to protect their right to avail of the privilege. However, at the time of delivery, they found it did not match their need, so they changed their mind to buy," he said.
Meanwhile, about 2 per cent of customers who took delivery of their cars are unable to pay their monthly instalments.
In Khon Kaen, orders for 33,000 cars were placed under the first-car scheme, but the buyers of 8,000 cars do not intend to go ahead with the purchase, the head office of Khon Kaen's excise department, Thanasil Chamcharoensup, said.
Nopparat to head Exhibition Bureau
Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, a former vice president of TOT Plc, has been appointed president of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, a position that has been vacant for a year.
He will replace Akapol Sorasuchart, who resigned from the post in March last year. Currently, Thongchai Sridama runs the office as its acting chief. Nopparat's appointment takes effect on May 2.
The bureau's board said Nopparat is qualified to run the office, especially in light of his management and marketing skills. He also speaks two foreign languages - English and French. After taking office, he will be expected to play a leading role in keeping Thailand in the running to host the World Expo 2020. - The Nation
Homepro plans property fund
Home Product Centre Plc (Homepro) has conducted a feasibility study to set up a property fund worth between Bt3 billion and Bt5 billion. The study is expected to be finished in the second half of this year, according to the company's senior vice president for finance, Wannee Juntamongkol.
If it cannot set up the fund, Homepro might consider setting up a real-estate investment trust instead. The company is expected to issue debentures worth between Bt4 billion and Bt5 billion in the second quarter this year with a maturity period of three to five years. The funds raised would be used to expand the firm's branch network. The company will add 10 to 12 branches this year, which requires a budget of Bt9.8 billion. - The Nation
Myanmar to host industrial expo
Following the outstanding success of INTERMACH Thailand - one of largest and most popular international industrial manufacturing exhibitions in the region - the show's organiser, UBM Asia (Thailand), plans to extend the event to Myanmar this year.
Southeast Asia is currently one of the world's few economic bright spots. And with the implementation of the AEC (Asian Economic Community) in 2015, the region will become the third largest trading bloc on the planet with a population exceeding 600 million. INTERMACH Myanmar is being launched to capitalise on this.
The AEC will form a single regional market and production base that provides a level playing field of economic opportunity among Asean members. The community will also enable the integration and development of SMEs and accelerate progress for less-developed member states so they can become part of the global economy, providing outstanding opportunities to all Asean member countries, especially Myanmar.
The launch of INTERMACH Myanmar will be an historic milestone - the first international industrial manufacturing and subcontracting exhibition ever held in the country. The show will be held from October 24-26 at Tatmadaw Exhibition Hall, Yangon.
"With unprecedented growth and development now underway in Myanmar and set to grow even further with the new Asean Economic Community - the timing for INTERMACH Myanmar couldn't be better," said M Gandhi, managing director of UBM Asia. "The inaugural event is expected to host leading industrial machinery manufacturers from around the world. It is also projected to host quality trade visitors," the director said. - The Nation
Toyota sees strong demand in March
Toyota Motor Thailand expects demand to continue rising in March as consumer confidence was the highest in 19 months in February. Moreover, demand under the first-car buyer scheme is driving sales, while a motor show late in March will boost demand.
Vehicle sales in February expanded 42.3 per cent on year to 129,910 units. Of the total, passenger cars accounted for 63,452 units, up 92.1 per cent. Toyota Motor Thailand expects demand to continue rising in March as consumer confidence was the highest in 19 months in February. - The Nation
Funds promised to develop SMEs
This year the Department of Industrial Promotion will focus on helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access loans to enhance their competitiveness by boosting liquidity, recruiting staff and improving workers' skills.
The move is in line with the government's plan to push SMEs' contribution to GDP above 40 per cent in the next 10 years from 37.1 per cent at present, and to boost the international market share of One Tambon One Product goods.
State agencies and ministries have already asked for a combined Bt22.3 billion from the government's 2014 budget to fund measures to improve SMEs' competitiveness.
There are over two million SMEs in Thailand, accounting for 78 per cent of total labour recruitment. Exports of SMEs are worth Bt1.75 trillion, accounting for 28.4 per cent of the country’s total export value.(No time period given for this figure. - HB - The Nation
Bangkok Airways mascots debut
Bangkok Airways has introduced five cartoon mascots to capture the interest of young kids and teens. The mascots will be further developed as products and later feature in an animated series to air on Bangkok Airways' in-flight entertainment system and in its lounges.
Company president Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth said the company came up with the idea for the mascots because it wants to expand its target base to younger groups. The designs of the five characters are based on the carrier's actual aircraft, using colours and shapes that please children, he said.
Each mascot will have its own characteristics: "Sky" is active, confident, lively and fast. "Sunshine" is joyful, humble and cute, "Rocky" is reserved, strong and warm, "Windy" is playful, courteous and talkative and "Daisy" is naughty and playful. - The Nation (with pic ID: 23062838)
Condo demand tracks rail routes
The planned high-speed rail network will drive demand for condominiums, according to research by the Architecture and Planning Faculty at Thammasat University.
From February 21-28, the faculty and Century 21 Realty Affiliates (Thailand) surveyed 1,115 residents of Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani provinces.
A total of 87.8 per cent of respondents said that if they were to buy a condominium they would choose a location close to the high-speed railway line, while the remainder said the train would not have any influence on their decision of where to buy a residence.
The first three routes in the planned scheme are Bangkok-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima and Bangkok-Hua Hin.
The survey indicates that property developers will need to expand investments along the high-speed train routes, the study said. - The Nation
Sansiri sells out Bangkok, Phuket projects
Property firm Sansiri successfully sold out three new projects in Bangkok and Phuket worth Bt2.5 billion this month. The sales will help the firm achieve its presale target of Bt48 billion by the end of this year, Sansiri president Srettha Thavisin said. - The Nation
Bank eyes Japanese clients in Asia
Resona Holdings Inc, Japan's fifth-largest bank by market value, plans to boost loans to Japanese businesses expanding in Asia by 25 per cent within a year, its incoming president said.
Kazuhiro Higashi, who takes the post on April 1, is targeting 50 billion yen (about Bt15.6 billion) in new loans to domestic companies with operations in countries including China, Thailand and Indonesia by March 31, 2014, he said in an interview. Such loans total 40 billion yen so far this fiscal year.
"We're seeing growing interest in Asia expansion among our clients," deputy president Higashi, 55, said March 13. "We've had more than 700 consultations on the subject over the last six months - that's been quite a surprise."
Board nod for Hydrotek's assets acquisition
of water-treatment plant's operator
Hydrotek's board of directors has approved the acquisition of the assets of an operator of a water treatment plant for municipalities in Chiang Mai.
The investment budget is Bt255 million, chief executive Slib Soongswang said in a filing to the Stock Exchange of Thailand on Wednesday.
Residential launches last month doubled to 8,857 units worth Bt28.01 billion from 4,439 units worth Bt16.63 billion in January, according to a survey by the Agency for Real Estate Affairs.
The survey shows that 8,383 units worth Bt22.88 billion or about 94.6 per cent of all the new projects and 82 per cent of total value are condominiums, while 384 units worth Bt4.52 billion or about 4.3 per cent of units and 16 per cent of value are single family homes and 48 units worth Bt420 million or 0.5 per cent of units or 2 per cent of value are townhouses.
The popular locations are the central business district for condos, Srinakarin Road for single family homes and Bhuddha Monthon Fourth Road for townhouses.
Bangkok Dec-Con plans IPO
Bangkok Dec-Con has filed an application to the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of 180 million shares or 25.71 per cent of its registered capital of Bt350 million.
The company plans to use the proceeds for purchases of machines and for working capital. The company plans to apply for listing on the Market for Alternative Investment in the second half of this year, Nuchnart Ratanasuwanchart, chief executive and managing director, said yesterday.
Bangkok Dec-Con is an interior designer for commercial and residential buildings and a builder of furniture on customers' orders.
The company earned Bt169.57 million on revenue of Bt969.14 million last year.
Lao Airlines adds to fleet
Lao Airlines has purchased more aircraft in response to increasing passengers as Laos becomes more closely integrated with the region and the world.
A new Airbus A320 arrived in Vientiane this month, bringing the total number owned by the national carrier to four, while a new ATR will join the fleet later this month, Saleum Tayarath, director of the commercial department, said on Wednesday.
"We will use our Airbus planes on the Vientiane-Luang Prabang route and international routes. We will use the ATRs on domestic flights only," he said. In October, Lao Airlines will begin direct flights to Myanmar as part of the provisions for increased air connectivity within the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy countries.
In the other direction, Myanmar Airways International plans to start flights to the World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang. The airline unveiled its intention during talks with Lao Airlines officials in Germany recently. Lao Airlines is also considering starting flights to Phnom Penh in Cambodia later this year in another move aimed at business growth amid surging air travel in the region. - Vientiane Times
CPF sees higher sales for frozen food
Charoen Pokphand Foods targets sales of Bt200 million from ready-to-eat products when it launches its latest frozen food, nuggets, Anarkawee Chooratn, vice president of marketing, said yesterday.
With total sales of Bt105 million last year, the company's market share reached 40 per cent.