Economy March 19, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

RS to risk fines by clinging to World Cup rights

RS believes the “must-have” rule is unfair and will continue with its plan to limit screenings of the World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil on free TV despite the threat of a hefty fine.
On Monday, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission issued a warning that RS could be punished by a fine of some Bt17 million if it fails to abide by its rule that seven sports spectaculars including the World Cup finals must be televised in full on free TV.
RS has countered that the rule came into effect after the company bought the Thai broadcasting rights to the World Cup. It is preparing to launch its “World Cup” set-top box next month. 
“The NBTC’s resolution was right and we understood it. But, at this stage, we would like to say we will proceed with our initial plan. There are 22 matches on free TV, while people can watch the rest of the World Cup fixtures on conditions, ” CEO Surachai Chetchotisak said yesterday.
CEOs’ confidence staying negative
CEOs’ confidence in the economy this month is expected to remain negative, according to a survey by Krungthep Turakij and Dhurakij Pundit University Research Centre.
In the survey of 417 chief executives from February 27 to March 10, they were asked their views on the economic outlook, business performance and important factors affecting their business. 
The economic index has remained negative for eight months. February fell to negative-39 and is expected to drop further in March to minus-41 on continued slowdown of the economy and overall political uncertainty, as well as on the state of emergency that was in effect in Bangkok when the survey was taken.
Four indices on business performance sentiment – revenue, cost, liquidity and employment – point to a more pessimistic outlook. The revenue index is expected to fall further to minus-26 in March from negative-24 in February. The cost index fell to 26 in February and is expected to rise to 29 in March. 
The cost index remained positive as businesses believe that costs will continue to rise, putting more pressure on liquidity. The liquidity index remained negative at minus-10 in February and is expected to slip to minus-14 in March. The downtrend indicates that businesses are becoming more vulnerable to an unexpected shock. The employment index is expected to decline slightly to negative-4 in March from minus-2 in February.
Dividend yield at 3.41%
The Stock Exchange of Thailand reported yesterday that 376 companies listed on the main board or the Market for Alternative Investment had declared Bt363.13 billion in dividends for last year.
The figure translates into a dividend yield of 3.41 per cent and dividend pay-out ratio of 46.86 per cent.