Economy February 11, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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SEC relaxes test rule for institutional clients to registered derivatives business operators

The Capital Market Supervisory Board has exempted the institutional clients of registered derivatives dealers and derivatives fund managers from the requirement to conduct a suitability test.
Vorapol Socatiyanurak, secretary-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said yesterday that institutional clients were deemed capable of making their own investment. 
However, institutional clients can request to do the suitability test for an evaluation of their portfolio investments and transactions. The revised regulations will go into effect on April 1. For details, please visit the SEC website at 
Foxconn to invest $1 bn in I’nesia 
Taiwan technology giant Foxconn group has signed a letter of intent to invest up to US$1 billion in Indonesia as it seeks to diversify production away from China, officials said on Sunday.
Foxconn, also known by its Taipei-headquartered mother company Hon Hai Precision Industry, which is the world’s largest contract electronics maker, said the investments would be in Jakarta province, which has better infrastructure than other regions of the country.
“We plan to come up with detailed investment plans for the Indonesian and Jakarta authorities in three months,” a Hon Hai official said.
The investments would be completed in three to five years in areas ranging from R&D, electronics software design and Internet business to manufacturing and assembly of electronic products, she said.
The move is part of the conglomerate’s efforts to diversify investments from China where it has set up huge manufacturing facilities to make products for Apple – including iPhones – as well as Sony and Nokia.
The group employs about one million workers in China, roughly half of them based at its main facility in the southern city of Shenzhen.
But officials from the group said China was gradually losing its attraction as a global factory featuring cheap labour and land.
Foxconn late last year also said it was planning to spend $40 million in manufacturing and research facilities in the United States. – Agence France-Presse.
Suvarnabhumi phase 2 project to go to tender in April
Airports of Thailand plans to bid out the Bt62-billion project to build the second phase of Suvarnabhumi Airport in April and disclose the winner in August. 
Construction is expected to be completed in 2016, when Suvarnabhumi’s capacity will be boosted to 60 million passengers per year from the present 45 million a year, president Makin Petplai said yesterday.
GPF won’t finance pledging
The Government Pension Fund affirmed yesterday that it had not been contacted by the government to purchase government bonds to help finance the rice-pledging scheme.
Sombat Narawutthichai, secretary-general of the GPF, said it had no plan to make such a bond investment, given the fund’s low liquidity.
Each month, the GPF collects about Bt1 billion from its members, who earn on average Bt10,000-Bt40,000 in salary per month. The GPF should not be the Finance Ministry’s target for the government bonds.
When the GPF invests in any asset, a specialised team and a committee jointly reviews the issue for transparency. 
Based on the GPF’s investment policy, about 75 per cent of the fund will be in the country and 25 per cent in risk assets including stocks and low-risk assets, he added. 
Ving TV ordered cancelled
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission yesterday ordered MCOT to cancel its planned Ving TV wireless broadband subscription television service. 
Under the Frequency Allocation Master Plan, the frequency MCOT plans to use is for telecom service, not for broadcasting. 
Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the broadcasting committee, said the project was developed in 2010 under a management contract with Play Work, a leading information-technology company.
MCOT planned to use part of the 2,500-2,690-megahertz frequency to broadcast Ving TV, which has yet to be commercially launched.
LH Bank to boost fee income
Land and Houses Bank forecasts loan growth of 10-20 per cent and will keep profitability at no less than 15 per cent this year by accelerating fee income especially from its securities business and bancassurance, president Sasithorn Pongsathorn said yesterday.
LH Bank last year purchased CIMB Securities International (Thailand) and changed the brokerage’s name to LH Securities, which will start operating in the third quarter of this year.
The bank also plans to open foreign-exchange booths in border provinces to boost fee income.
Chintana Klaisuwan, the first senior vice president overseeing mortgages, said the bank this year would focus more on customers who are not buying Land and Houses’ residences, to expand its customer base and drive its loan portfolio. 
The bank targets new home loans at Bt6 billion, of which half will be for non-LH projects.
Pattaya money expo booms
“Money Expo 2014” in Pattaya has seen the highest number of loans in the past four years.
Santi Viriyarungsarit, editor-in-chief of Money & Banking magazine, said yesterday that the expo was a success, since many people, including business representatives, from the region came to seek investment loans and financial counselling, which pushed total loans up to Bt17 billion. 
The most popular loans were for buying houses. About 4,500 customers applied for a home loan, which accounted for about Bt12 billion. About Bt2 billion was deposited in high-interest plans offered by banks at the expo.
Altogether 17,224 people applied for financial and investment services from banks, financial institutions, asset-management companies and insurance companies that had registered with the expo. That was more than half of the more than 30,000 people who visited the exhibitions.
Loans for small and medium-sized enterprises reached Bt2 billion, which shows that businesses in the Pattaya area are largely unaffected by the current political turmoil because of their minor effect on the tourism industry in this part of the country, Santi said.  The anti-government protests, which favour an unelected “People’s Council”, are still largely confined to Bangkok, which has seen its tourism industry hit badly.