In the News
Ranong eyes port deal with Myanmar firm
The Port Authority of Thailand, Ranong province, Ranong Port and the private sector have joined forces to approach Myanma Five Star Line (MFSL), the national shipping flag carrier of Myanmar, over the use of Ranong as a link to ship products to the neighbouring country.
Ranong Port manager Pityan Decharat said the port and MFSL had reached a preliminary agreement on the matter.
Ranong Governor Cherdsak Jampatet and his team, as well as representatives from the private sector, will meet with MFSL again on January 19 to discuss further details of the plan.
Final agreement for MFSL to use Ranong Port is expected to be reached in midyear, Pityan said.
Bt2.7 bn sought for palm oil
The Commerce Ministry will request a budget of Bt2.6 billion to Bt2.7 billion from the Cabinet to help purchase surplus crude palm oil from the market during the current period of falling prices.
Wiboonlasana Ruamraksa, director-general of the Internal Trade Department, said the money would be used to buy 100,000 kilograms of crude palm oil at Bt25 per kilo.
"The measure should help promote the price of palm fruit and encourage mills to buy palm fruit at Bt4 a kilo to ensure that farmers get some profit," she said.
About 17,000 tonnes of crude palm oil are currently in the government's stocks. The authorities have already processed 1,000 tonnes into 650,000 bottles of cooking oil.
The government will sell the cooking oil under its low-price measure at Bt39 per bottle.
Value of RMFs, LTFs grows
Thailand's tax-saving funds grew 33.88 per cent in net asset value (NAV) to Bt323 billion last year, according to a recent survey.
Retirement mutual funds (RMFs) saw a 32.71-per-cent rise in NAV to Bt123.15 billion, while the NAV of long-term funds (LTFs) jumped 34.62 per cent to Bt199.61 billion.
Aberdeen Asset Management was the champion RMF performer, its funds' NAV growing 73.09 per cent during the year. Krungsri Asset Management was second, with a 54.51-per-cent increase to Bt9.15 billion.
About 81.27 per cent of the market for RMFs remained with commercial banks' fund companies last year, the survey found.
Kasikorn Asset Management captured the highest RMF market share of 29.62 per cent, followed by BBL Asset Management (20.76 per cent) and SCB Asset Management (17.31 per cent).
BBL Asset Management's Bualuang Equity RMF posted the highest return of 58.19 per cent for the year.
Legal changes on mergers
The Cabinet yesterday approved legal amendments to the Revenue Code aimed at facilitating mergers among financial institutions and insurance companies.
Under Section 65 (3) of the code, financial and insurance businesses count reserves as expenses, which are not subject to taxation.
These legal reserves come out of premium income and serve as a provision for non-performing loans or doubtful debts by banks, finance companies, securities companies or credit fonciers, and are set aside according to requirements.
Under Sections 74(2) and (3), once these companies are merged, their reserves will be merged.
Excess reserves, the amount exceeding the legal requirements, are counted as revenue and this revenue must be taxed.
The current rules, which lead to higher costs, have discouraged mergers among financial institutions and insurers.