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Credit Suisse cuts GDPgrowth forecast to 3%



Credit Suisse has cut its growth forecast for Thailand's gross domestic product this year from 4.5 per cent to 3 per cent on expectations of prolonged political instability hurting the economy, especially the tourist industry.

Meanwhile, delays to the government's planned infrastructure investment would sap growth in private spending, the financial-services company said.

Credit Suisse also expects the Bank of Thailand to cut the policy interest rate by 0.25 percentage point, to 2 per cent, most likely in the current quarter, and thinks the baht will continue to underperform other Asian currencies over the next couple of months.

Equity funds' returns in red

Thai equity funds' returns averaged minus-3.34 per cent last year, while global equity funds provided returns of 22.38 per cent, according to a recent survey.

SCB Asset Management was the champion among Thai equity funds, giving the highest return of 46.78 per cent last year. The SET Index' returns averaged minus-3.56 per cent.

Thanachart Asset Management suggested that investors diversify, particularly into developed economies that are enjoying recoveries, to mitigate risks.

AWN granted 9.9m more phone

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission's telecom committee yesterday approved 9.9 million additional mobile-phone numbers for Advanced Wireless Network (AWN) of Advanced Info Service (AIS), which had requested 15 million numbers.

The committee has yet to approve additional numbers for DTAC TriNet of Total Access Communication or for Real Future of True group, pending their submission of more information. DTAC TriNet has asked for 10 million more numbers, while Real Future wants 8 million.

AWN, DTAC TriNet and Real Future all hold NBTC licences to operate third-generation services on the 2.1-gigahertz spectrum. Earlier they got a total of 32 million mobile-phone numbers from the NBTC, of which 14 million were assigned to AWN, 8 million to DTAC TriNet, and 10 million to Real Future.


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