Economy August 19, 2014 01:00

By The Nation

SEC supports infrastructure funds

Vorapol Socatiyanurak, secretary-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said the SEC recently outlined the benefits of infrastructure funds for state projects to Air Chief Marshal Prajin Jantong, deputy chief of the National Council for Peace and Order.  
The regulations governing the establishment of infrastructure fund are aimed at accommodating both the public and private sectors. Currently, three sizeable infrastructure funds investing in rail transport, electricity, and telecommunication have been set up and offered investment units to the public.
“State enterprises can mobilise funding by setting up infrastructure funds in a pattern suitable for their own organisations, for instance selling future revenue rights during a certain period to the fund while retaining title, management and control over the assets,” Vorapol said. “In doing so, feasibility studies and regulatory restrictions of the infrastructure projects must be prepared and explored with a view to assessing the project’s commercial viability to create proper returns for investors. 
“In this connection, interested authorities are welcomed to consult with the SEC. Some state enterprises have already met with the SEC to discuss the possibility of setting up infrastructure funds for the country’s infrastructure development. 
“Using infrastructure funds to expedite development of the country would help reduce the government’s budgetary burdens and borrowing needs that could then be geared to other vital investments such as education and public healthcare,” he said. 
Fujitsu acquires Panasonic unit
Fujitsu Ltd and Panasonic Corporation recently announced that Fujitsu had completed the acquisition of all shares of Panasonic Information Technology Solutions Co, which had been a Panasonic subsidiary specialising in information systems.
As a result, Panasonic Information Technology Solutions’ name has been changed to Fujitsu IT Management Partner Co, which has now begun to provide outsourcing services relating to the operation, maintenance and development of information and communications technology systems to Panasonic and its group companies.
Ice Bucket Challenge comes to Thailand
The “Ice Bucket Challenge” is now a hot trend in Thailand, including in the IT and telecom sectors. 
Yesterday Advanced Info Service (AIS) chief executive officer Somchai Lertsutiwong and Total Access Communication (DTAC) CEO Jon Eddy Abdullah took the challenge.
Started in the US, the Ice Bucket Challenge is now a viral phenomenon in social media, involving dumping a bucket of ice-water on one’s head to raise money for sufferers of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Then they have to challenge three other people publicly to do the same within 24 hours. Among the celebrities taking part in this challenge are Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg,  and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
In Thailand, a similar campaign in the information-technology sector was kicked off Saturday by Isriya Paireepairit, co-founder of the tech blog Blognone. The participants can choose to donate to any charity. 
Isriya made a donation to the crowd-funding website, which raises money for various social clauses. Somchai donated to the same website, while Abdullah chose the ALS Association and Operation Smile (Thailand) on behalf of DTAC. 
Joint Sri Lanka-Thai event 
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Sri Lanka, the two countries have agreed to cooperate in a variety of activities next year.
The Thai Foreign Ministry and Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry will jointly conduct a logo-design competition under the theme “Connectivity for Shared Prosperity”. 
People can submit their logo designs to their respective ministries from now through September 12, with a joint committee to consider the designs in Colombo before announcing the winner on September 19.
To enter the competition you must be a Thai or Sri Lankan aged 18 to 35. 
RS expects good 2nd half
RS is confident that its financial results in this half of the year will be better than in the first half thanks to the digital TV revenue doing exceptionally well, chief financial officer Darm Nana said.
He added that for the current third quarter, there would be a record revenue of Bt308.9 million as a result of compensation from NBTC for the sales loss of its World Cup set-top  boxes. 
RS recorded revenue of Bt2.06 billion in the first half, up 37 per cent from the same period last year, but net profit was down 52 per cent to Bt84.31 million. 
The company’s board approved an interim dividend of Bt0.12 per share to be paid on September 12.
TOT board to discuss losses
TOT’s new board of directors will look at ways to keep the stateowned telecom alive when they meet for the first time today.
TOT said its revenue was expected to drop to Bt57.6 billion this year after earlier predicting Bt64.4 billion – for a loss of Bt8.9 billion. Its original loss forecast was Bt5.1 billion.
For the first half of the year, TOT reported Bt32.4 billion in revenue – a Bt1.3billion loss.
One of the main causes of the losses was the huge amount of concession revenue it had to start paying the state in December. CAT Telecom, the other state telecom, had to do the same.
TOT has enjoyed about Bt22 billion in revenue a year from its private telecom concession holders, including the largest cellular operator Advanced Info Service.
The 15 new board members are expected to select General Surapong Suwannaat, deputy joint chief of staff, to be chairman.