World's largest KidZania site to open in Bangkok
KidZania, the world's fastest growing edutainment brand, is opening its largest and most sophisticated indoor site in the world at Siam Paragon on March 29. It is the first kid-centric, life-like replica city in Bangkok that offers an ultimate learn-and-play experience for kids aged 4-14 with unique and fun role-plays.
The activities also help develop essential life skills, such as teamwork and decision-making. In addition to Bangkok, which is the 12th KidZania branch, more complexes will be opened this year in major cities, including Kuwait and Cairo.
Seminar on AEC cosmetics rules
The Asean Economic Community will bring about a standardised set of rules and regulations for cosmetic products of all nations in the region. Thai producers have been invited to join the National Nanotechnology Centre's seminar on "Cosmeceuticals Development for AEC by Science and Technology" on April 1, where the rules and regulations will be unveiled in detail.
At the seminar, research on herbs, clinical tests and marketing aspects of cosmetic products will be revealed to help local producers enhance their competitiveness when the AEC kicks off in 2015.
Go to www.nstda.or.th/nac2013 for seat reservations.
Condos compete with flats
Apartment operators are suffering from competition introduced by more condominiums available for rent, according to TMB Analytics.
The research house said yesterday that low interest rates had driven condo purchases and some of these had been rented out.
Of total real-estate loans, condo purchases account for 13 per cent, relatively close to 12 per cent for apartments, including serviced apartments. Non-performing real-estate loans were 5.4 per cent of total loans last year, against 4.5 per cent for industrial loans and 2.3 per cent for commercial loans.
'Forbes Thailand' coming soon
Forbes Media yesterday signed an agreement with Post Publishing to launch Forbes magazine in the Thai language, with the first issue hitting the news-stands in June.
"We are excited to be partnering with the Bangkok Post to publish Forbes Thailand. Thailand is one of Asean's most dynamic economies, and Forbes Thailand will serve the country's growing community of tycoons, CEOs, investors and aspiring entrepreneurs," said William Adamopoulos, CEO for Asia of Forbes Media.
Builder contracts worth Bt505m
Contracts signed at this year's Home Builder Focus to construct residences increased 4.9 per cent to Bt505 million over the seven-day event ending March 6.
About 38 per cent of bookings were for homes priced between Bt2.51 million and Bt5 million and 30 per cent at Bt5.1 million to Bt10 million.
Patchara Tantayanyong, president of the Home Builder Association, said yesterday that the total market for home-builders in Bangkok would grow by 7.8 per cent to Bt11 billion this year.
Rice-pledging to continue: PM
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday that the government would continue its rice-pledging project in line with its announcement to Parliament.
The Cabinet also approved the Finance Ministry's proposal to revise the public debt management plan for fiscal 2013 by raising the borrowing limit to Bt986.56 billion from Bt959.39 billion in the original plan.
As of March 6, Advanced Wireless Network of Advanced Info Service had requested permits from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission to import 41,628 cellular base stations for the launch of third-generation service on the 2.1 gigahertz spectrum.
Real Future has also applied for permits to import 200 base stations for a planned fourth-generation 2.1GHz service, according to an NBTC source.
Both informed the regulator that they expected to start selling these services next month.
Micro data centre
Hitachi Systems has launched its micro data centre model in Southeast Asia, starting with Thailand.
The container-type unit provides customers with space and energy-efficient data-centre functions. To be assembled by local partner companies, it is designed to help reduce electricity bills and maintenance costs and to use space more effectively.
Liquidity a boon
Excess liquidity of Bt2.4 trillion offers a good opportunity for Thailand to finance the Bt2-trillion infrastructure projects, Ekniti Nitithanprapas, deputy director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office, said yesterday.
All of the investment will be financed domestically. The government will first issue bonds, then companies will be invited to join under the public-private partnership scheme.
Krungthai-AXA Life's annualised premiums leapt 148 per cent last year and it is steaming ahead this year on its journey as the fastest-growing insurer.
CEO David Korunic said all indicators last year showed stunning growth. The company is No 5 in new business and No 6 in in-force business.
Roger Deacon, chief distribution officer, said the three main distribution channels produced enormously in diversified markets, with bancassurance accounting for 52 per cent of new business, agency for 43 per cent and corporate solutions 5 per cent.