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Economy July 29, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

Tong Hua cancels deal with operator of Springnews TV

Veteran investor Wichai Thongtang’s Tong Hua Communications has cancelled its deal to invest in Spring News Television, the operator of the Springnews, a commercial digital TV channel for news programmes. 
The telecom company reported to the Stock Exchange of Thailand yesterday that its directors had approved the termination of the contract to invest in Spring News Television and requested the return of a Bt250-million up-front payment with interest for the opportunity loss of 12 per cent per year, by August 8.
Responding to this decision, Arak Ratboriharn, chief executive officer of Solution Corner (1998), parent company of Spring News Television, said it would not have any impact on the operation of Springnews TV as it had secured enough cash flow. Solution Corner remains the majority shareholder at 99.99 per cent.
Arak explained that the reason behind its business partner’s decision was that Tong Hua Communication was seeking new investments in other businesses that offered more profit. 
New BOI strategies
The Board of Investment has adapted its promotion strategy to focus on business groups that are industries related to existing manufacturing facilities. 
These are high-technology industries; industries relying on local sources, such as foods and agriculture; and industries with world-class manufacturing development, such as autos and parts, aviation, and electronic goods. 
The authority also launched two new strategies: the opening of five special border economic zones and negotiation with the Finance Ministry for tax-reduction measures to encourage Thai investors to expand abroad.
Udom Wongviwatchai, BOI secretary-general, said the strategy adjustment had been made to be in line with the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board’s plan to strike a good balance among economic, social and environmental factors, and to move Thailand away from being a medium-income country. 
The authority will focus on industries that add value rather than being quantity-based. The move will allow local industries to be more competitive and enjoy sustainable growth in the long term, the BOI hopes. 
RS compensation studied
The Comptroller-General’s Department (CGD) will set up a committee to review thoroughly all the relevant information before compensating RS, the exclusive holder of the World Cup 2014 television broadcast rights, in accordance with the Administrative Court’s order. 
CGD director-general Manus Jamveha said the department had requested more information after meeting with RS executives. This followed an earlier meeting between the CGD and executives from local television broadcasters such as Channel 5, Channel 7, and TrueVisions and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, which did not lead to an agreed compensation amount for RS.  
The NBTC set a maximum compensation limit of Bt427 million. Since this large sum of money would be funded by taxpayers, the CGD must be thorough in coming up with a compensation amount that is just, fair and reasonable to all parties involved, Manus said. 
The CGD says it will without delay initiate the process to compensate RS fairly after the company has submitted the requested information.