Economy January 15, 2014 00:00

MInistry told to switch from promoting B7-grade diesel to B4

The Commerce Ministry has abruptly asked the Energy Ministry to switch from promoting B7-grade diesel to B4, citing the low inventory of palm oil.
Somnuk Bomrungsalee, director-general of the Energy Business Department, said yesterday that the Commerce Ministry’s letter reached the Energy Ministry on Monday, but the Energy Ministry will have to talk with the Commerce Ministry first on the matter as the Energy Ministry had just instructed petroleum retailers nationwide to promote B7 diesel starting on January 1 at the Commerce Ministry’s request.
A source added that the ministry is expected to announce the switch to B4 diesel next month. – Watcharapong Thongrung, The Nation
Record trips on shutdown day 
BTS Skytrain made  a record number of  905,746 trips on January 13, 2013, the first day of  the anti-government campaign  led by lead by People’s Democratic Reform Committee,  according to company statement 
2,237 projects seek BOI privilege 
Applications for Board of Investment privileges last year exceeded expectations at 2,237 projects worth Bt1.1 trillion. The projects would create 207,463 jobs. Energy-related firms submitted many applications late last year. Japan remains the top investor, Udom Wongviwatchai, secretary-general of the BoI, said yesterday.
Services and utilities accounted for the largest share of investment value at 849 projects worth Bt522.8 billion, up 21 per cent over 2012, followed by metals, machinery and transportation tools at 448 projects worth Bt254.3 billion, up 4 per cent; agricultural goods at 362 projects, valued at Bt122.7 billion, up 38 per cent; electronics and electric appliances at 285 projects worth Bt101.9 billion, down 39 per cent; chemicals, paper and plastics at 174 projects valued at Bt49.2 billion, down 72 per cent; mining, ceramics and ore at 40 projects, worth Bt43.7 billion, down 2 per cent; and light industries at 79 projects, valued at Bt15.8 billion, down 50 per cent.
Tisco Q4 earnings kept down  
Tisco Financial Group’s net profit last quarter was lower than analysts’ expectation because of higher provisions against rising non-performing loans (NPLs). Tisco is the first financial house to report its net profits for 2013, at Bt4.25 billion against Bt3.7 billion in 2012. However, profits in the fourth quarter were only Bt804 million, down by 28.9 per cent from the third quarter and 19 per cent year on year.
Maybank Kim Eng Securities (Thailand) noted that the fourth-quarter result was below the consensus expectation of Bt1 billion to Bt1.1 billion, and the net profit of Bt804 million was the lowest in eight quarters.
Tisco doubled its loan loss provisions in the fourth quarter to Bt1.6 billion compared with the third because of increasing NPLs. 
For the full year, Tisco set aside total loan loss provisions of Bt4.14 billion, up significantly from Bt1.92 billion in 2012, or 1.53 per cent of total loans.
German software firm’s fair
Innovative IT solutions and services for bank branches and retail stores are the focus of “Wincor World 2014”, which will be held from January 21-23 in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, Germany. Together with its partner companies, Wincor Nixdorf will demonstrate how branch and store processes can be optimised and customer service improved.