Economy January 09, 2014 00:00


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The state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) expects the competition for deposits among banks to be lower this year, now that the implementation of public mega-project programmes has been interrupted by the dissolution of Parliament.

Somchai Arayachatsakul, vice president of the bank, said yesterday that the Bt350-billion water-management projects and the Bt2-trillion transport-infrastructure projects had been temporarily stopped after the dissolution of the House of Representatives, easing the liquidity situation in the banking system when compared with last year.

However, the BAAC plans to mobilise funds in a bid to offset the maturity of the Lotto scheme, for which Bt35 billion will be paid on January 20, he said.

The bank currently has outstanding deposits of Bt105 billion and excess liquidity of Bt100 billion, or 12 per cent, which is double the 6 per cent required by the Bank of Thailand.

The BAAC board recently agreed to use Bt55 billion of the excess liquidity for subsidies under the rice-pledging scheme.

Somchai said the bank had not received any complaints from depositors about the decision to use the excess liquidity to back the rice subsidy.

Its deposit base is normal, he said, adding that the bank could mobilise deposits from other farmers, such as maize-growers.

Net deposits currently stand at Bt50 billion, against a target of Bt80 billion, said the executive.


The country’s third-largest cement producer TPI Polene will launch two lots of senior debentures worth a total of Bt5 billion to raise funds for working capital and further investment.

The first lot has a period of three and a half years with an interest rate of 5 per cent per annum, and the second is a four-and-a-half-year debenture with a coupon rate of 5.30 per cent annum.

The debentures will be offered from January 14-16 at CIMB Thai Bank branches nationwide. The required minimum investment is Bt100,000 and in multiples of Bt100,000.

Prachai Leophairatana, chief executive officer of TPI Polene, said the company would make coupon payments to investors every three months.

TRIS Rating has assigned a “BBB+/stable” rating to TPI Polene’s senior debt.


A Commerce Ministry subcommittee on palm oil has agreed to delay the Kingdom’s plan to use 7-per-cent biodiesel (B7) in the first half of this year because of the rising price of oil palm.

Caretaker Commerce Minister Niwatthumrong Boonsongpaisan said the plan to delay usage of B7 would help ensure an adequate supply of palm oil for households and a stable price.

In the meantime, the country will continue to use B4 biodiesel. The postponement of B7 usage should increase buffer stockpiles of palm oil by 10,000 tonnes a month.

Currently the price of oil palm is more than Bt5 a kilogram, driven up by the end of the harvest season.


Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said yesterday that its ratings on PTT Exploration and Production (BBB+/Stable/--; axA+/--) are not affected by the company’s planned capital expenditure of US$17.5 billion from 2014-18.

PTTEP’s planned spending is within the rating agency’s tolerance for the rating. Under its base-case assumptions and considering the higher level of capital expenditure, it expects the company to maintain its debt-to-EBITDA ratio at 1.0-1.5 times over the next two to three years.

PTTEP recently revealed its five-year investment plan. Most of the company’s investments are focused on improving production volumes and proved reserves life in Southeast Asia.


Visa cardholders in Thailand can now receive money from friends and family in Canada with Visa Personal Payments from TD Bank in Canada.

TD Bank customers in Canada can send money using EasyWeb, TD’s online banking platform, to Visa debit or prepaid cardholders in Thailand, just by knowing the recipient’s name and his 16-digit Visa card number.

Fort the first three months, fund transfers from Canada to Thailand will be free, after which transfers will be priced from CAD$8.95-$12.95, payable by the sender. It is free to receive funds with transfers to a Visa debit card occurring as a deposit to the underlying checking or savings account, and transfers to an eligible Visa prepaid card occurring as a top-up to the balance.

TD Bank is the first bank in North America to provide the Visa Personal Payments service and this marks the opening of another large remittance corridor to Southeast Asia, following the launch of the service in Singapore by DBS Bank earlier this year.


Hemaraj Land And Development last year signed 101 contracts with 60 new customers and 41 existing customers with project expansion plans for industrial estate sales of 2,200 rai. Of the new customers, 42 per cent were Japanese companies.

David Nardone, president and CEO, said yesterday that the results were close to the company’s third revised land sales target despite the year-end political disruptions. While it sees short-term negative conditions slightly impacting its business timing, Thailand continues to be attractive for manufacturing relocation and growth due to reasonable costs, good infrastructure and expanded market access.

In 2013, Hemaraj’s ready-built factory rentals grew 26 per cent to 297,368 square metres, while its logistics parks rentals increased 55,325sqm to 72,145sqm. Utilities demand increased 4 per cent by volume.

Its first 126-megawatt small power producer project with Gulf J-Power called GJPNLL commenced commercial operations in May. Gheco-One, a 660MW IPP project with Hemaraj holding 35 per cent, which had initial teething start up performance, was operating at near 100 per cent availability in November.

That brings Hemaraj’s power plants in operation to four – Gheco-One, Glow IPP, Houay Ho hydropower in Laos, and GJPNLL.


Rexel, a global leader in the professional distribution of products and services for the energy world, has acquired Quality Trading, the third largest electrical distributor in Thailand.

Through this acquisition, Rexel is gaining a strong market position in the country and is building a growth platform in the fast-growing market.

With five branches spread throughout the country, Quality Trading mainly addresses the industrial and commercial end-markets with a strong focus on original equipment manufacturers, maintenance repair operations and lighting solutions.

Since the company’s inception almost 20 years ago, it has become the No 3 player in the market. Its team has extensive experience in providing advice and managing electric products the market. Based in Bangkok, Quality Trading generated sales of Bt1.5 billion in the last fiscal year.

Quality Trading has been rebranded Rexel Quality Trading and comes under the direction of Albert Tan, Rexel’s vice president for Southeast Asia. Preecha Terawatsakul continues to lead the Rexel Quality Trading team.



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