Two foreign banks apply for branch licences
Two foreign commercial banks have applied for licences to set up branches in Thailand.
However, Pongpen Ruengvirayudh, deputy governor of the central bank, declined yesterday to elaborate.
The second phase of the Financial Sector Master Plan allows up to five foreign banks to apply for branch licences this year.
Shell earmarks Bt900m for stations
Shell next year will spend Bt900 million to upgrade 550 petrol stations countrywide and add 10 more.
Asada Harinsuit, chairman of Shell Company of Thailand, said yesterday that Bt30 million would be used to expand Shell stations selling E20 (20 per cent ethanol) gasohol to 250 by the first quarter of next year from the present 35.
The company has already exhausted Bt1.5 billion on the rehabilitation of existing stations over the past two years.
PM off to Switzerland, Italy
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will lead a delegation of officials from the Industry Ministry and the Board of Investment on an official visit to Switzerland and Italy from September 9-13 Monday to Friday next week.
They will hold a seminar to woo Swiss and Italian interests into investing in Thailand, strengthen trade relations, explore potential joint-venture opportunities and publicise Thailand's position as a major trade and investment centre in Asean and a gateway to the Asean Economic Community, Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk said yesterday.
The BOI will hold a seminar on "Swiss-Thai Business Cooperation" in Zurich on Tuesday. About 100 Swiss representatives from the finance, corporate and business sectors are expected to attend, said Udom Wongvivatchai, secretary-general of the BOI.
The BOI has granted investment privileges to 134 Swiss projects worth Bt64 billion and 67 Italian projects worth Bt8.25 billion from 2002 to July this year.
Italian small and medium-sized enterprises could be used as a role model in Thailand for the adoption of local technological know-how and unique local features in the making of products.
'Steve Jobs' movie invite
NationBooks is thanking its customers by inviting them to a special screening of the "Steve Jobs" movie.
Place an order for a copy of the "Steve Jobs" book at nationbook.tarad.com or www.nationbook.com now and win two free tickets to the preview on Tuesday, before the public screening on September 12.
This offer applies to only the first 80 purchasers, who will also qualify for a 30-per-cent discount and a limited set of cloth bags.
SEC edict on property fund reports
The Securities and Exchange Commission will ask fund-management firms to prepare property-fund reports after underlying assets were reportedly over-appraised.
Waratchya Srimachand, assistant secretary-general of the SEC, said yesterday that the regulator was preparing to issue a circular to asset-management companies advising them to be strict on the financial information and asset appraisals submitted by those who want to set up a property fund by the end of this year - the last year the current property-fund criteria will be used.
Applications for more than 20 property funds have already been received.
"There were quite a few applications for property funds and the process might have drawbacks," she said.
Property funds with overvalued assets were found and reappraisals were required. This has resulted in a reduction of more than Bt1 billion.
The watchdog has held discussions with the Association of Investment Management Companies about clarifications for listed companies needing to set up property funds.
Rooftop solar proposals sought
Those interested in selling electricity from rooftop solar farms can submit a proposal to the Metropolitan Electricity Authority or the Provincial Electricity Authority from September 23 to October 11 between 9am and 3pm each day.
The names of the qualified producers will be disclosed on October 14, the Energy Regulatory Commission said yesterday.
Home Builder Expo posts above-target sales
The Home Builder Expo recorded Bt3.02 billion in sales from August 22-25, which was about 6 per cent higher than the target of Bt2.85 billion, thanks to strong demand for luxury residences.
The Home Builder Association believes that the homebuilder market will reach Bt11.5 billion this year, Patchara Tanthayanyoung, president of the association, said yesterday.
Residences priced from Bt2.5 million-Bt5 million showed strong demand and accounted for 41.4 per cent of bookings at the event.
Next were units priced Bt5.1 million-Bt10 million (23.0 per cent), priced up to Bt2.5 million (14.0 per cent) and priced over Bt10 million (19.6 per cent).
Thanasiri Group Plc will develop mixed-use projects worth Bt5 billion in Phuket next year. In this second half of the year, it plans to launch three residential projects worth Bt700 million to boost its sales by 15-20 per cent this year.
The company earned Bt26.1 million on revenue of Bt438 million in the first half, up 28 per cent and 100 per cent from the same half of last year.