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Wave takes Wall Street

Wave Entertainment Plc has acquired The Wall Street English Franchise in Thailand for Bt800 million as part of its plan to transform itself into a leading lifestyle and entertainment company within five years.

Matthew Kichodhan, chairman and CEO of Wave Entertainment, said yesterday that the move would reinforce Wave's role as a quality content provider that addresses ever-changing consumer needs and the major shift in broadcasting to digital.

Wall Street English Institute will support the diverse expansion of the company as a quality content provider on digital TV and prepare the company to realise opportunities with the integration of Asean Economic Community 2015 as an English education provider. Wall Street English is licensed by Pearson, one of the world's leaders in the education business. It is the country's leading English teaching institute with high potential in the fast growing English language school market estimated at Bt7 billion.

New Mitr Phol facility

Mitr Phol Group has recently opened the Mitr Phol Innovation and Research Centre at the Innovation Building Complex of Thailand Science Park in Pathum Thani.

The facility aims to enhance the organisation's research and development capabilities in the areas of food innovations and biotechnology to support the continuous growth and expansion of Mitr Phol Group's businesses ranging from sugarcane development and a wide range of sugar products to renewable energy.

Thaicom 8 set for 2016

Thaicom's Thaicom 8 satellite will be launched in the first half of 2016 to support the growth of the broadcasting industry and to strengthen its competitiveness in the international market. CEO Suphajee Suthumpun said this week that the company has been preparing the groundwork for Thaicom 8, including the investment plan, technical design, project feasibility, pre-marketing and the International Telecom Union process to secure the additional frequency rights for Thailand at the 78.5-degree East orbital slot.



BAAC EYES LOCAL ADMIN

BODIES TO HELP FUND

PAYMENT TO FARMERS

The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives hopes to double its targeted funds "for helping farmers" to Bt40 billion by tapping into the excess liquidity of more than 7,000 local administrative organisations, in order to pay farmers still owed money under the government's rice-subsidy scheme.

The organisations have combined funds of more than Bt200 billion deposited at financial institutions. "We hope to encourage just 10 per cent of that money to be invested in the bank's funds instead, which would give us a fund inflow of around Bt20 billion," said BAAC president Luck Wajananawat.

Previously, the BAAC had set up three kinds of funds with a combined Bt20-billion target for helping farmers who have not yet been paid for the rice they pledged.

So far, just Bt8.4 billion has been collected via these means, of which Bt4.5 billion has been paid to the farmers. However, he expects the funds to reach Bt20 billion as targeted in June.

Out of a total of 1.5 million rice-pledging receipts issued by the bank, accounting for 11.61 million tonnes or Bt190 billion, one-half have not been yet paid. The payments in question were for the rice crop harvested between October 2013 and March this year.

ERC AGREES TO FUEL

HIKE OF 10 SATANG

Yesterday's meeting of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) passed a resolution to raise the fuel tariff (FT) for May to August by 10 satang to 69 satang per unit, according to its chairman Direk Lavansiri.

The actual rate increase agreed was 13.94 satang per unit, but the commission did not want to make the FT hike a burden on consumers, so it asked the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand to temporarily absorb the additional cost of 3.94 satang.

SCBAM APPOINTS

NEW PRESIDENT

SCB Asset Management (SCBAM) announced yesterday that Smith Banomyong had been made the new president of the company, effective today.

He succeeds Jotika Savanananda, who stepped down from the post last month.

Smith was until recently executive vice president of the wealth division at Siam Commercial bank and a director of the bank's subsidiaries - SCBAM, SCB Securities and Siam Commercial Samaggi Insurance.

ECONOMY COULD BE BACK

TO NORMAL IN Q4: BOT

The Thai economic situation should be back to normal in the final quarter of the year, based on an assumption that the political situation will ease in the second half, said Don Nakornthab, director of the strategic services department at the Bank of Thailand.

"It is possible that the economy has already passed bottom, because consumer spending and investments in March look stable compared with the previous month," he said, adding that it was too early to say whether the economy would recover during the current quarter.


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