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July bond market sees huge net inflow of

Foreign capital worth about Bt107 billion net flew into the Thai bond market last month, Thai Bond Market Association executive Suchart Thanathitiphan said yesterday.

In the first seven months of the year, a net Bt69 billion of foreign capital went into the bond market, while foreign bond holdings stood at Bt778 billion at the end of the period, he said.

About 74 per cent of foreign investors' bond holdings was in long-term bonds, with the remainder in short-term instruments.

"Foreign capital continues moving into long-term bonds. Most went into reference bonds and those with liquidity or auctions in the month [July]," he added.

FAO food price index

The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) Food Price Index decreased for a fourth consecutive month in July, mainly due to a sharp decline in international prices for maize, wheat and certain oilseeds, reflecting ample supplies for these commodities.

Based on the prices of a basket of internationally traded food commodities, the index averaged 203.9 points last month, down 4.4 points (or 2.1 per cent) from a revised value in June and 3.5 points (1.7 per cent) below the July 2013 level.

"The lingering decline of food prices since March reflects much better expectations over supplies in the current and forthcoming seasons, especially for cereals and oils, a situation that is expected to facilitate rebuilding of world stocks," said FAO senior economist Concepcin Calpe.

F&N nine-month

Fraser & Neave Holdings' results for the nine months ended June 30 trumped expectations, says CIMB Equities Research.

The results were at 88 per cent of its full-year forecast and 83 per cent of consensus estimates for F&N, it said yesterday

"We had underestimated the margin expansion for its dairy business in Malaysia," said the research house, which raised the target price from 19.16 ringgit to 21.17.

CIMB Research said F&N's top-line growth was across the board, while bottom-line growth was driven by the soft drinks and Malaysian dairies segments.

In Thailand, the group was hurt by high raw-material costs, which it was unable to pass on to consumers.

Thailand's

The Association of Thai ICT Industry has revealed that smart-phone penetration in the country is now more than 25 per cent, with the rapid expansion expected to continue.

Smart-phone sales in Thailand grew 33 per cent in the first quarter, and 63 per cent of the total mobile handset market came from smart phones during this period, with basic feature phones accounting for the rest.

PayPal estimates e-commerce usage in Thailand at almost Bt15 billion last year, while OurMobilePlanet says that 51 per cent of Thai smart-phone users had used their devices to purchase goods.

A new addition to the e-commerce trend is the availability of car insurance through mobile devices.

DirectAsia.com Thailand recently launched mobile car-insurance quotes and real-time purchasing through its secure mobile website.


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