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BTS Group Holdings holds main stake in new JV

BTS Group Holdings subsidiary BTS Land Co will hold a 60-per-cent stake in a joint venture, Bangkok Payment Solutions Co, with 30 per cent held by Vix Technology (Bangkok) Co and the rest by Inteltion Co.

The JV will be a vehicle for developing software and providing technology services, including technology associated with Thailand's mass-transit and payment systems, BTS Group Holdings executive director Kong Chi Keung reported to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

NMG rated 'BBB+'

TRIS Rating has assigned Nation Multimedia Group the company rating of "BBB+" with "positive" outlook.

It said the rating reflected NMG's established brand equity as a multimedia news content provider, the strong market positions of the company's newspapers, Krungthep Turakij, The Nation and Kom Chad Luek, and the competency of its management team.

The rating also takes into consideration the growth prospects driven by NMG's opportunity to become a digital-television broadcaster.

The "positive" outlook is based on the growth prospects in the digital TV broadcasting segment. The rating should be upgraded if NMG can successfully move to the new digital platform, deliver strong performance amid intensified competition, and maintain its financial strength. The outlook would be revised to "stable" if the commercial benefits of digital TV took longer to materialise.

DTAC profit up 10%

Total Access Communication (DTAC) made a net profit of Bt3.3 billion in the first quarter - a 10-per-cent increase on the same period last year - despite the soft economy and rising competition.

The company's service revenue before tax grew 0.3 per cent year on year after its mobile Internet services grew 48.4 per cent.

Handset sales grew 15.6 per cent although the company's total revenue dropped 6.27 per cent to Bt22.4 billion, compared with Bt23.9 billion in the same period last year.

The revenue decline was mainly due to a 50-per-cent drop in income tax revenue, partly due to intense competition, political instability and the softer economy.

DTAC's revenue from value-added service grew 31.5 per cent year on year and 4.7 per cent quarter on quarter to Bt6.6 billion.

China may import less gold

Gold imports by China may drop over the next few months after the yuan fell, while shipments to India are picking up, according to Standard Chartered, signalling contrasting outlooks for the two largest users.

Weakness in the yuan made domestic bullion in China cheaper than gold bought from overseas, said Jeremy East, global head of metals trading. Flows into India are higher than a year earlier and there is speculation import curbs may be eased, he said.

China overtook India as biggest gold consumer last year, when Asia's largest economy increased purchases to more than 1,000 tonnes and India's restrictions hurt official imports. The two countries accounted for more than half of global demand last year.

While bullion has rebounded after slumping in 2013, Goldman Sachs Group is among banks forecasting a resumption of declines as the US Federal Reserve winds back stimulus. - Bloomberg


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