New MSCI index launched
Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia are among small emerging markets to receive greater prominence in the new MSCI emerging markets index.
Thailand's weight has been raised to 6.11 per cent from less than 3 per cent, as the MSCI EM Beyond BRIC Index will exclude the BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - who currently represent more than 40 per cent of the calculation.
The new index, a subset of the well-known MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which comprises 17 countries including BRIC, is being launched in response to demand from investors exploring countries outside the BRIC region, according to Deborah Yang, managing director and head of the MSCI Index Business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India.
Rice bidding in two weeks
The Commerce Ministry will open bidding for 200,000-300,000 tonnes of rice in the next two weeks, under the government's plan to accelerate the release of its stockpiles.
Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Niwatthumrong Boonsongpaisan said continued release of rice stocks should ensure that Thailand would be able to export a total of 7 million to 8 million tonnes of rice this year.
The bidding will also ensure that the ministry is able to return more than Bt200 billion to the Finance Ministry by the end of this year so that it can spend on the rice-pledging scheme.
The ministry also is set to meet with Thai trade advisers worldwide on September 23 to review its export target for this year amidst dropping demand in many markets.
Srirat Rastapana, director-general at the International Trade Promotion Department, said the meeting would review whether to adjust the export target for this year, which is set at 7-7.5 per cent expansion.
Trade counsellors and officials will also hold urgent talks on strategies to penetrate each market in the remaining months.
Myanmar gas supply disruption
Some power plants relying on gas supply from Myanmar will switch from gas to oil, as two gas fields in Myanmar - Yadana and Yetagun - will be shut down for maintenance from December 26 to January 8, 2014.
PTT senior executive vice president Chakree Buranakanon said the company plans to double the import of 2 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas this year. Meanwhile, the Zawtika (M9) gas field in Myanmar, which is co-owned by the PTT, is expected to start producing gas in April 2014 and 240 million cubic feet per day would be supplied to Thailand.
TRIS revises Double A outlook to
'stable' on improved performance
TRIS Rating has revised the outlook of Double A (1991) to "stable" from "negative". The outlook revision reflects the recovery of the company's operating performance.
At the same time, TRIS has affirmed the company and existing issue ratings of Double A at "BBB". The "BBB" ratings continue to reflect the company's position as one of the leading producers of printing and writing paper in Thailand, its fully integrated pulp and paper mills, and the strong brand name of its Double A paper products.
The "stable" outlook reflects an expectation that the company will be able to operate its Paper Mill 3 in Prachin Buri and the Alizay mill in France as planned. The strong brand name of Double A paper is expected to help expand new products and markets to support additional production capacity of the group.
No shale gas in Asia-Pacific 'any time soon'
Commercial production of the Asia-Pacific region's shale gas or oil will not happen any time soon - nor will it be easy or cheap, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services says in a report titled "Asia's Tough Terrain Delays Shale Gas Progress, but Latent Demand May Ignite Growth".
That is despite the region sitting on the world's second-largest shale-gas resources, according to the US Energy Information Administration. China alone possesses the world's largest shale-gas resources, and is expected to consume more energy to power its growth, despite the slowing expansion of its gross domestic product and economic restructuring.
"Technological limitations, inadequate skills, and tough terrains require huge and costly investments. And poor infrastructure in remote reservoirs would make it difficult to get shale resources to markets," Standard & Poor's Ratings Services credit analyst Lawrence Lu said. "Nonetheless, the need for energy security, the push for lower-emission fuel, and robust energy demand are likely to spur Asia-Pacific countries to pursue commercial production of shale gas and oil, in addition to other hydrocarbons."
Because of the challenges, the Asia-Pacific region is likely to take more than five years to unlock its shale resources. Regulatory and environmental policies, including drilling bans in Europe and elsewhere, have plagued and stalled resource development in some countries.
At the same time, fixed regulatory controls on gas prices in Asia-Pacific countries make it uneconomical to extract shale resources, although such controls are loosening.
Meanwhile, Australia, China, India, and Indonesia have taken tentative steps to explore their shale gas and oil potential, including drilling wells. At the same time, resource-deficient countries such as Japan and South Korea continue to incur huge energy costs mainly because of rising gas imports.
Property Perfect campaign
Property Perfect has introduced a marketing campaign called "Happy Lake Living" to boost its sales in the second half of the year.
The campaign will offer special prices for detached houses in 11 projects nationwide located near lakes at starting prices of Bt3.15 million. The campaign will run until September 22. --With pic ID: 24011610
Gunkul proposes solar project
Gunkul Engineering has proposed to the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and the Provincial Electricity Authority production of 40 megawatts of electricity from solar sources.
Managing director Somboon Aueatchasai said the company had also set aside an investment budget of Bt6.5 billion to develop alternative energy sources for electricity generation. Of that, Bt4 billion will go on a 60MW wind-power plant at Huai Bong, Nakhon Ratchasima, and Bt2.5 billion for a gas-fuelled plant.
Pattaya property promoted in China
Kingdom Property has appointed China's largest real-estate agent SouFun Holdings to represent the company's debut project Southpoint Pattaya in the booming mainland Chinese market.
With an expected total of 5 million Chinese tourists visiting Thailand this year alone, the growing Chinese demand for Thai property is one that Kingdom Property plans to maximise with the hiring of the New York-listed company, chief executive officer Nigel Cornick said.
Amway water-treatment sales success
Amway continues to gear up its water-treatment-systems business after the sales success of eSpring, which witnessed growth of 10 per cent in the first half of this year.
The company is confident of finishing the year with a high market share of 60 per cent and sales of Bt2.3 billion to retain eSpring's position as the top-selling brand of point-of-use home water-treatment systems in both Thailand and globally for the fourth consecutive year, marketing director Ratana Channara said.
SEC opens public hearing
The Securities and Exchange Commission is opening a public hearing on the amended regulation for disclosure of financial statements of foreign banks' branches from now to September 25.
The move came after risks that a foreign bank's branch may face financial troubles in repayment for its debt-instrument holders in Thailand and there were legal constraints for them to request debt repayment from the bank's head office abroad.
The amended regulation focuses on foreign bank branches' disclosure of financial information, financial performance, and issuer ratings.
All affected parties and others interested are invited to give opinions at www.sec.or.th or by fax to 02-695-9609, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org from now to September 25.