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SET SEES BT35 BN TURNOVER

The Thai stock market's turnover yesterday remained huge at Bt35.37 billion, despite reports that the exchange would be targeted by anti-government protesters.

The composite index lost 18.84 points or 1.45 per cent, to 1,277.03 points, putting an end to the gains in the last two trading days. The exchange yesterday sealed off its building and temporarily moved its service and contact counters to Esplanade shopping centre on Ratchadaphisek Road. Only some staff worked at the head office.

Foreigners remained net sellers of Thai shares yesterday, with sales exceeding buys by Bt1.164 billion. This reduced the net buy this month to Bt2.1 billion. The baht also weakened against the US dollar yesterday but still remained above the psychological level of 33. At 5.10pm, it was trading at Bt32.87 against the greenback.

4.5% GROWTH SEEN FOR THAILAND

Thailand should register economic growth of 4.5 per cent this year, before rising to 5 per cent and 5.2 per cent in 2015 and 2016, according to World Bank's Global Economic Prospects report.

The World Bank estimated 3.2 per cent growth rate for 2013. In the report released yesterday, the World Bank raised its forecast for global growth for the first time in three years as advanced economies started to pick up pace, led by the United States. (Full report on global economy on 5B)

BMTA MAY SEEK GOVT AID

Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) would need a new financial plan and probably financial assistance from the government, if the "Bangkok shutdown" continues next week.

Acting director Nares Boonpiam said yesterday that on the first two days, BMTA had lost Bt5.3 million in revenue. It normally earns Bt9.6 million on a working day.

He said the shutdown had resulted in a decrease in the number of commuters, from 1.5 million to 1.3 million. Meanwhile, the number of buses, including those operated by private companies, also dropped from over 5,500 to about 3,400-4,000 a day.

Private companies have also lost a combined amount of Bt1 million a day, he said.

BANKING 'NEAR NORMAL'

Only 45 bank branches were closed yesterday, according to the Bank of Thailand.

The BOT yesterday announced near-normal operations of commercial banks as the "Bangkok shutdown" ran into the third day. The central bank revealed that as of 3.30pm, only 45 bank branches were closed (including 29 that were closed for the entire day). Meanwhile, the payment system continues without disruption. On Monday, at 3.30pm, commercial banks temporarily closed 123 branches. The number rose to 135 as of 11am on Tuesday.

JAY MART SUBSIDIARY TO DEVELOP MIXED-USE PROPERTY

Jay Mart will develop a mixed-use building on Lat Phlakao Road for Bt415 million through its wholly owned subsidiary JAS Asset, which has signed a 30-year ground lease.

JAS Asset will pay Bt67.90 million when the transfer of the leasehold land at the Lands Department is completed, the company reported the Stock Exchange of Thailand yesterday.

The source of funds is loans from financial institutions.

The shopping mall, commercial building, residential building and the rest of the project are expected to start midyear for completion and commercial operation next year.

It expects a return after operating expenses of 13 per cent per year, which is higher than its cost of funds.

BIG C PARTNERS CDISCOUNT

for e-commerce websites

Big C Supercentre is accelerating its development in the e-commerce business with the creation of a pure e-commerce player in Asean in partnership with Cdiscount, the leader in e-commerce in France, with Group Casino's Vietnam activities.

The websites will be launched in Thailand and Vietnam under the Cdiscount brand.

The activities will enrich Big C's multichannel strategy and complement its existing website Big C Shopping Online, allowing the company to increase its footprint in markets where e-commerce initiates its growth.

JAPAN’S SANKYO TATEYAMA TO SET UP SHOP IN THAILAND

Building materials company Sankyo Tateyama will set up a wholly owned subsidiary in Thailand later this month with an eye toward local production and marketing of a wide range of products, according to a Nikkei report.

The company has set its sights on the many Japanese businesses moving into Southeast Asia. It hopes to make and sell not only construction materials to homebuilders, but also extruded aluminium parts and other items to automakers.

The new Thai unit will begin operations with a staff of several employees conducting market surveys and collecting regional information.


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