1. Govt to accelerate megaprojects as PPP. Three more mass-transit lines worth Bt400bn will go through the fast-track public private partnerships (PPP) process while two new draft laws related to PPP and state enterprise supervision would be passed by the National Legislative Assembly before the general election scheduled for February next year, said Prapas KongIed, director-general of the State Enterprise Policy Office(SEPO). (The Nation, 17/09/18) 
  2. EU warns Britain ‘must’ rework Brexit. EU Council President Donald Tusk issued a stark warning to Britain on Wednesday that its Brexit position must be “reworked”, as Prime Minister Theresa May prepared to address European leaders at a key summit. Tusk said the negotiations on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union were reaching a “decisive phase”, as he opened the first of three summits that Brussels hopes will end in a divorce deal. (AFP, 19/09/18)
  3. PromptPay transfers grow six-fold in Q2. Waiving fees for digital transactions since late March has not only substantially boosted banks’ online transactions but also individual money transfers via the PromptPay platform, which surged six fold in the second quarter. (Bangkok Post, 21/9/18)
  4. China retaliates with tariffs on US$60bn of US goods. China Tuesday announced tariffs on US goods worth $60 billion in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s decision to slap duties on $200 billion in Chinese products next week. (AFP, 19/09/18)
  5. Two Koreas aim for agreement to unlock nuclear talks. Leaders of South and North Korea plan to announce steps aimed at rekindling stalled nuclear talks and deepening bilateral ties after they meet for a second day of summit talks on Wednesday in the North’s capital Pyongyang. (Reuters, 19/09/18)
  6. August auto sales jump 27.7%YoY. Domestic car sales in August jumped 27.7% from a year earlier to 86,780 units, after a 25.7% increase in July, the Federation of Thai Industries said on Wednesday. Sales were lifted by stronger economic growth and higher state and private investment as well as farm prices, the FTI said Auto exports in August fell 0.38% from a year earlier, after July’s 0.15% increase. Thailand is a regional vehicle production and export base for the world’s top automobile manufacturers. (Reuters, 19/09/18)
  7. Central bank holds key rate, keeps 4.4% growth forecast for 2018. Thailand’s central bank left its key policy rate unchanged at 1.50% on Wednesday, as widely expected, and maintained its forecasts for export and economic growth this year. The Bank of Thailand continues to expect economic growth of 4.4% this year, with exports up 9.0%. Growth in 2019 was still projected at 4.2%. It also maintained its headline inflation forecast of 1.1%, compared with its 1-4% target range. In 2017, the country’s economy, the second-largest in Southeast Asia, grew 3.9% – the fastest pace in five years. (Reuters, 19/09/18)
  8. The board of NBTC yesterday approved new draft rules for the 900MHz auction. Some of the main changes from the previous rules include an increase in the starting bid price to over Bt37bn from Bt35bn previously. Unlike the previous rules, the new draft does not contain a clause requiring the bid winner to be solely responsible for any interference between this 900MHz band and the same band allocated for the future railway projects. (Kao Hoon, 20/9/18)
  9. India’s economy still has an upside — even if the rupee has plunged. The Indian rupee weakened to record lows this year, but it is boosting export competitiveness for the country, said Kalpana Morparia, CEO of J.P. Morgan’s South and South East Asia business. Corporate profits have also jumped this year and is set to continue increasing next year, she said at the India Investor Summit. Experts have attributed India’s currency depreciation to rising oil prices, a widening current account deficit, and broader emerging market concerns. (CNBC, 20/09/18)
  10. Turkey unveils plan to fight currency crisis. Turkey’s finance minister has slashed the country’s economic growth targets and promised to cut public spending by nearly $10bn as the country tries to rebuild shattered market confidence and find a way out of a currency crisis. (Financial Times, 20/09/18)

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