Economy January 21, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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RS to rename Starmax as Channel 2 to bolster satellite TV business

Leading music and entertainment company RS has set aside Bt50 million to rebrand its Starmax satellite TV channel as Channel 2 next month. 
Chief executive officer Surachai Chetchotisak said yesterday that while the company was working on setting up a 24-hour variety channel for the new digital free-TV platform, it was also planning strategies to strengthen its satellite TV business. 
The company sees the importance of developing its satellite platform alongside its digital free-TV business, aiming to make Channel 2 the most popular satellite channel, with more than Bt200 million income, up 60 per cent from last year. 
SEC seeks input on new rules
The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking public comment on draft rules on cross-border offerings of Asean collective investment schemes (Asean CIS) to retail investors. 
This will provide a complete set of Asean CIS cross-border offering rules when compiled with those previously put into effect for non-retail investors for more convenience and effectiveness. 
The proposed draft rules are based on the Asean Capital Markets Forum’s implementation plan, the Asean CIS framework, and the common standards covering qualifications of cross-border funds, qualifications of management companies and fund supervisors, local representatives, prospectus, and so forth. 
The consultation paper is available on the SEC website at Stakeholders and interested parties are welcome to submit comments through the website, or facsimile number at 02-263-6484 or e-mail at until tomorrow.
CIMB Thai 2013 net profit up 14.1%
CIMB Thai Bank has reported 2013 net profit of Bt1.49 billion, up 14.1 per cent year on year, mainly from growth of net fee and service income of 45.4 per cent and a rise in net interest income of 25.3 per cent. 
Subhak Siwaraksa, president and chief executive officer, said provisions expenses increased by 97.5 per cent year on year mainly from special provisions set aside as countercyclical buffers. 
Extraordinary items in 2013 included gains from Thai Asset Management Corp, gains from liquidating a subsidiary, gains on Vayupak Fund redemptions, and special provisions set aside as countercyclical buffers. Excluding these extraordinary items in both 2012 and 2013, CIMB Thai Group would have recorded growth in consolidated net profit of 85.3 per cent.
Amid intense competition in both the deposit and lending markets, CIMB Thai group was still able to maintain its net interest margin (NIM) over interest-earning assets at 3.2 per cent in 2013.
As at December 31, total gross loans stood at Bt171.1 billion, up 23.2 per cent year on year. Non-performing loans stood at 2.5 per cent, up from 2.8 per cent in 2012.
Digital-TV network operators ordered to get moving on rollouts
The four digital terrestrial TV network operators will have to speed up their roll-outs to cover 50 per cent of the 22 million households in the country by June instead of December.
The broadcasting committee added this condition to the licences of Royal Thai Army Radio and Television Station, MCOT, the Public Relations Department and Thai Public Broadcasting Service. 
If they fail to comply, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) might consider terminating their licences, Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the committee, said yesterday. 
Under this new arrangement, the networks must reach Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chiang Mai and Songkhla in April; Ubon Ratchathani, Surat Thani and Rayong in May; and Sing Buri, Sukhothai, Khon Kaen and Udon Thani in June. 
TAT plans recovery
The Tourism Authority of Thailand plans to launch a major rehabilitation of the tourism industry immediately after the end of the political conflict.
“We have asked our policy and planning department to evaluate the local tourism market every quarter,” Thawatchai Arunyik, deputy governor for domestic marketing, said yesterday.
TAT will talk with Thai Airways International and other companies about adjusting the tourism strategy to deal with the situation. To boost confidence among tourists, “big event” stages will be set up at all the demonstration sites.
Mall developer refinancing debt
Bumrung Muang Plaza, the developer of the Soho Wholesale Shopping Mall, will issue bills of exchange and borrow from financial institutions to refinance the debt it has defaulted on.
BMP, a subsidiary of Power Line Engineering, ran into liquidity problems after the income from space rentals at the Soho project was short of target, Power Line reported to the Stock Exchange of Thailand yesterday. The company and BMP expect that BMP can mobilise Bt400 million by next month.
BMP has requested an extension of principal and interest for the last instalment due on September 30 for Bt359.32 million with Standard Chartered (Thai) Asset Management and the creditor allowed the extension.
LPG price up Bt0.50 next month
The Energy Ministry confirmed yesterday an increase in the price of liquefied petroleum gas by another 50 satang per kilogram next month in line with the policy of the Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO). 
This will be the sixth rise in the LPG price since the first one last September. The total increase so far amounts to Bt3 per kilo. With the next rise, the price will be Bt21.13 per kilogram.