Economy January 28, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Satellite licences may have 'national security' provision

Holders of satellite business licences will have to allocate one channel for state agencies to promote national security, and those agencies will have to pay for such use, according to draft regulations.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will hold a focus group on the draft on January 31.
The licences will cover a range of businesses, from satellite operators to the earth satellite service providers.
New regional M2M alliance
Eleven leading Asia-Pacific mobile-phone operators, including Thailand’s Advanced Info Service (AIS), yesterday formed the region’s largest machine-to-machine alliance to offer a “one-stop-shop” experience for M2M deployment across East Asia and the Pacific. 
Bridge M2M Alliance comprises members of the Bridge Alliance and is made up of Airtel (India), AIS, CSL (Hong Kong), Globe Telecom (Philippines), Maxis (Malaysia), MobiFone (Vietnam), Optus (Australia), SingTel (Singapore), SK Telecom (South Korea), Taiwan Mobile (Taiwan) and Telkomsel (Indonesia). 
The group serves a combined base of more than 500 million subscribers, making it the largest M2M alliance in the Asia-Pacific region.
Higher demand from China hikes farm price index  
Office of Agricultural Economics reveals the 5.18 per cent increase of agricultural price index to 158.52 in December last year, as driven by the price surge of tapioca, pineapple, swine, egg, and oil palm. It is due to higher demand from China, which is one of major import market. However, agricultural products posted lower price include maize and rubber, due to higher supply in the world market as well as global economic slowdown.
Meanwhile, the agricultural production index also surged by 1.61 per cent to 197.19 in December last year with high productivity agricultural products, including non-glutinous rice, rubber, swine, and egg. However, agricultural products showing lower productivity include pineapple and oil palm.
Billboard market inactive  
The market of outdoor billboards during the time of coming general election is quite inactive with spending cut by half. 
Sakorn Treethanajit, president of the Advertising and Sign Producing Association, said that even the two weeks left before the host of general election on February 2, the outdoor billboard business is quite inactive compared to the previous times as impacted by the political conflict and uncertainty whether the election will be conducted or not. 
The uncertainty causes many applicants and political parties have not actively doing their campaigning activities. It has also impacted the outdoor billboard business to be sluggished. 
The total market for outdoor billboards was worth about Bt5 billion last year, up between 5-6 per cent from to the previous year. It is the lowest record compared to the other past years as impacted by the arrival of new media such as online and social media.
Latest addition to Tesco Lotus 
Tesco Lotus Retail Growth Freehold and Leasehold Property Fund (TLGF) completed the acquisition of a new property, Tesco Lotus Extra Navanakorn, on Friday 24 January 2014. The acquisition was previously approved by the Meeting of Unitholder No. 1/2013 on 4 November 2013 to invest in one shopping mall property. The source of fund for the investment is a loan obtained from a financial institution. 
Tesco Lotus Extra Navanakorn is a freehold property located next to Navanakorn industrial estate, one of the largest industrial estates in Thailand. The property has 40,012 square meters of gross floor area, 19,909 square meters of net lettable area and 10,202 square meters of total lettable area for permanent tenants. The Purchase Price is 2,246 million baht which does not exceed the lowest price obtained from the Independent Property Appraisers by more than 10% according to the SEC regulation. 
9% loan growth seen in Q1
Kasikorn Research Centre estimates the lending growth of commercial banks in the first quarter of 2014 will expand by 8.5-9 per cent, slowly growth from the double digits in the same period last year in line with the lower lending demand from downside risks.
The lower loan demand makes commercial banks are carefully managing cost of fund as well, the research noted. 
KResearch noted that the commercial banks remain introducing deposit campaigns with the attractive return to secure the customer base even the essential in raising deposit during the first half of this year is unclear picture.