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EC APPROVES EXTENDED WAIVER OF DIESEL EXCISE

The interim Cabinet yesterday approved the extension of the diesel-excise-tax waiver to the end of next month, after winning the Election Commission's consent.

Caretaker Deputy Finance Minister Tanusak Lekuthai said the interim government planned to seek the EC's approval for another three-month extension. He said this should be enough to get the country past the election and new government's formation period.

To maintain the diesel pump price below Bt30 per litre, the government of former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in May 2011 waived the excise tax of Bt5.30 per litre as well as the value-added tax of 40 satang per litre. The waiver has been extended several times since.

FARMERS TO GET PAYMENTS

Those farmers who participated in the rice-pledging scheme and have received pledging certificates but have not yet received their money from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives (BAAC) will be paid by January 15, said Tanusak Lekuthai, caretaker deputy finance minister.

The Finance Ministry has discussed the matter with the Commerce Ministry and reaffirmed that the pledging project has enough money to pay all participating farmers.

The money due participating farmers between this month and January 15 will total about Bt85 billion. About Bt20 billion of that was already allocated to individual farmers via the BAAC in the first two weeks of December, and another Bt2 billion will be gradually paid before the end of this month. The remaining Bt45 billion will be paid to farmers by January 15.

DEFICIT BT210 BN IN OCT-NOV

The government showed a Bt210-billion deficit in the first two months of the 2014 fiscal year, according to the Fiscal Policy Office.

Somchai Sajjapongse, director-general of the office, said that during October and November, government revenue totalled Bt330.34 billion, up by Bt12.54 billion or 3.9 per cent from the same period last year.

In the period, budget disbursement reached Bt514 billion. Coupled with the off-budget deficit of Bt26.78 billion, the government ran a deficit of Bt210.5 billion.

"Amid economic and political volatility, fiscal stability will be the key factor to drive the economy. The Finance Ministry will speed up budget disbursement, to inject more money into the economy," Somchai said.

GLOW UNIT TO BUILD 19 MW GAS-POWER PLANT

for Wartsila at Siam Eastern Industrial Park

Glow SPP 11 Co Ltd, part of the Glow group of companies, has signed a contract with Wartsila for the construction of a new gas-power plant with a net output of 19 megawatts. The project is expected to be complete within the first quarter of 2015.

Glow SPP 11 Co owns and operates power plants with a total power-generating capacity of 287MW, in joint operations with associated infrastructure and facilities located in Siam Eastern Industrial Park.

Esa Heiskanen, chief executive officer of Glow Group, said the expansion is necessary due to a continuous increase of energy demand at the industrial park.

The expansion project will further ensure the stability of electricity supply by Glow SPP 11 with high efficiency and modern technology, world class environmental management systems and construction activities, strictly in line with the approved Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report.

TFEX ANNOUNCES BEST AWARDS WINNERS

The Thailand Futures Exchange PCL (TFEX), under The Stock Exchange of Thailand, has announced the winners of the seven categories of TFEX Best Awards 2013, with KGI Securities (Thailand) emerging the winner in three categories.

KGI Securities (Thailand) was named the "Most Active House 2013" for having the highest derivatives trading volume, the "Most Active Prop-Trader 2013" for making the most proprietary trading transactions, and the "Best Market Maker for Equity 2013".

CIMB Securities (Thailand) Co Ltd was the "Most Active Agent 2013", while the "Most Account Opened 2013" award went to KT ZMICO Securities.

The "Best Market Maker for Precious Metal Products 2013" was Globlex Securities Co Ltd while Krungthai Bank was named "Best Market Maker for Currency Products 2013."

Currently, TFEX has 13 market makers, comprising 12 derivatives members and a bank.

TIGERAIR SCRAPS MANILA-PHUKET FLIGHTS

Budget-carrier Tigerair Philippines ended flights from Manila to Phuket in the middle of December after only three months of operations, saying the low passenger volume to the Thai beach resort made the route unprofitable.

The carrier cited difficulties in selling flights to both the passengers bound for Phuket and those going to Manila. The load factor, a measure of passenger load, was only 50 per cent.

"It was not really performing as expected. We saw that people still preferred to go direct to Bangkok and then fly to Phuket," said Jose Laurente, a company executive.

He said the airline would explore new international routes and was set to launch flights to Japan, South Korea, Macau and China next year.

Tigerair Philippines currently operates five aircraft. It plans to boost its fleet to 25 planes in three to five years.

The budget airline, a unit of Singapore's Tiger Airways Ltd, sought to differentiate itself from the competition by offering more leg room and giving options, for a fee, to passengers seeking more than the typical "no-frills" services associated with the budget airline business model. - Philippine Daily Inquirer, ANN.

RS GETS STRONG RESPONSE TO "COOLISM"

RS has once again demonstrated its strength in the media business following a major rebranding from Sky-Hi Network to "Coolism". The transformation resulted in both radio stations - Cool Fahrenheit 93 and Cool Celsius 91.5 - growing steadily, particularly the recent Cool Celsius 91.5, which has been well-received by the audience and earned trust among advertisers as a public relations channel.

In 2013, the two stations met the revenue target of Bt500 million.

Sutee Chatratanakul, managing director of Coolism Co Ltd, said the overall performance of the company in 2013 was quite successful with Bt500 million revenue generated this year, of which 90 per cent came from Cool Fahrenheit 93 with the recently-introduced Cool Celsius 91.5 contributing the balance of 10 per cent.

Most of the revenue came from advertising and marketing event, which helped drive the stations' content to their target audience. Cool Fahrenheit 93 ranks top in the easy- listening sector, according to a survey by Nielsen Media Research for the past 14 years.

Meanwhile, Cool Celsius 91.5, which was launched in March 2013, is doing increasingly well.

DHL'S 43RD SERVICEPOINT MAKES DEBUT

DHL Express (Thailand) has unveiled its 43rd Servicepoint in Thailand, conveniently located just 20 metres from Ari BTS station in the La Villa Ari. The new facility is open seven days a week and targets the growing Thai retail and tourist trade in the area.

The launch of this latest outlet underscores DHL's strong commitment to staying ahead in the industry while staying close to its customers to better understand their needs in order to continually offer innovative products and solutions.






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