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New secretary-general at GPF

The Government Pension Fund Committee yesterday appointed Sombat Narawutthichai secretary-general of the GPF, effective January 1.

He will replace Sopawadee Lertmanaschai, who will end her term this month.

Sombat, 53, has more than 20 years' experience in securities companies, and formerly served as secretary-general of the Securities Analysts Association.

SEC suspends 3 supervisors

The Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended three financial-adviser supervisors. They are Vichien Uasanguankul, a former employee of Capital Link Advisory Co, Nawin Pinyosinwat, also of Capital Link Advisory, and Sumritchai Thangharat of Country Group Securities.

The SEC will not consider their applications for approval as financial-adviser supervisors for one year, starting from last Friday, December 20.

The suspension resulted from their failure properly to perform a due diligence in the case of a company applying for an initial public offering, including the failure to verify the information on revenues from advisory services for related persons, even though certain information indicated that the revenue might not exist.

Beko coming to Kingdom

Beko, a Turkish home-appliances brand, has announced plans to launch its products in Thailand in the second quarter of next year in collaboration with Titanco International Co, part of the Titan Group of Companies.

Beko claims it offers resource-efficient home appliances that come with smart technologies, exclusive designs and functionality. Its refrigerators, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers were launched in Singapore last week as the first point of entry to the Southeast Asian market, with Thailand scheduled for the next entry point in the second quarter of the new year.

DKSH inks deal with Ellen

DKSH Business Unit Healthcare has signed an agreement with feminine-hygiene firm Ellen Asia to provide marketing, sales, registration, customs clearance and importation, as well as physical distribution, invoicing and cash collection for Ellen's Probiotic Intimate Creme, an ointment for external use, in both the medical and trade channels in Thailand.

Ellen AB is a biotechnology company based in Sweden.

New TAT governor thanks visitors for staying put

The Tourism Authority of Thailand's newly appointed governor, Thawatchai Arunyik, has thanked foreign tourists for sticking around during the current political chaos.

"I am happy to be taking the helm of TAT at a very important stage of the country's history," said Thawatchai, who took over the position on Sunday. "I am confident the tourism industry will ride this through.

"Above all, I would like to thank all the visitors who have retained their confidence in the kingdom and maintained their travel plans. I hope their presence will encourage others to follow suit."

Thawatchai, 58, is the ninth governor of the tourism agency. He vowed to work with all players in Thailand and abroad to maintain the momentum of the tourism industry, ensuring that it never loses sight of the need for environmental sustainability.

"Tourism is now well established as a leading driver of jobs, economic growth, income distribution and sustainability," he said. "My job is to build on that and implement the strategies and projects already clearly outlined in the marketing action plan."

TAT expects this year to end up with 26.1 million visitor arrivals, and projects 28.01 million in 2014. Revenue projections are for Bt1.1 trillion in 2013 and Bt1.326 trillion in 2014.



BOT advised to keep policy rate

The Bank of Thailand should maintain the policy rate at 2.25 per cent through the first half of 2014, said Win Udomrachtavanich, chief executive officer of One Asset Management.

He said that despite high household debt, the BOT should balance this with the expectation that economic growth will be pulled down by political uncertainties. He foresees an increase in the policy rate to 2.75-3.00 per cent in the second half of 2014, as US monetary policy will tighten liquidity.

Win predicts short-term volatility in the Stock Exchange of Thailand due to the political unrest, while growth in earnings per share could fall to 16 per cent from the previous target of 17.4 per cent.

His company expects the SET Index to end next year between 1,400 and 1,600 points, with attractive stocks in the energy, petrochemical, transport, export, electronics and food sectors.



Property sector growth seen

Athip Peechanon, managing director of real-estate developer Supalai, anticipates 10-per-cent growth in the property sector next year, assuming the political conflict does not descend into violence.

He said there was large demand for new homes but political instability had a psychological impact on consumers, leading them to delay purchases.

He noted that 2014 "will be a year for the preparation for the Asean Economic Community, which will be fully effective in 2015. We believe that foreign investors will physically invest in Thailand next year to use it as their base in various sectors, such as industry and business. This will encourage a big boom in property and many related businesses, such as serviced apartments and hotels."



MACO signs India ad deal

Master Ad Co (MACO), a provider of creative out-of-home media solutions, has signed a contract with TDI International India for the exclusive right to sell advertising space at nine international airports in India, namely Chennai, Kolkata, Calicut, Cochin, Trivandrum, Pune, Ahmedabad, Tirupai and Goa.

The total advertising space covers more than 1,000 square metres, for about Bt262 million a year in advertising value.

MACO president Noppadon Tansalalak said his company would solely represent TDI in selling packages to local business vendors in Thailand who want to advertise at those Indian airports.



Revamp for Modernine TV

MCOT next year plans to revamp Modernine TV's prime-time programming, particularly entertainment shows.

Under the new concept of "Modernine TV Sharing Inspiration", next month MCOT will change its programmes aired between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on weekdays. This period is dedicated for entertainment programmes "Identity Thailand" and "Kaitai-Shin Show", from Japanese broadcaster NHK.

MCOT will also rename its hourly news programme to "9 Speed" and add "Highlight News" at 5pm on weekdays to summarise key events of the day.




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