• Govt putting in place export control rules – New strategic export-control regulations will place additional compliance burdens on some business sectors, but will increase investor confidence and enhance trading relationships with Thailand, Deloitte Thailand has said. (The Nation, 6/7/15)
  • Japan pledges US$6 bn for Mekong – A trilateral pack on development of Dawei was also signed at a six-nation summit in Tokyo. The five Mekong region countries and Japan have agreed to adopt the new “Tokyo Strategy 2015” for cooperation between the two sides for the next three years, marking an enormous achievement of the seventh Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting that ended yesterday. (The Nation, 5/7/15)
  • Thailand safe from ‘Grexit’: Sommai – The SET Index dropped by 1.10 per cent yesterday as Asian markets sank after Greece voted “no” to further austerity, but Finance Minister Sommai Phasee insisted that Thailand’s strong financial foundations meant that Greece’s finance problems and the potential for a “Grexit” would have limited impact on the Thai economy. (The Nation, 7/7/15)
  • BAAC plans B60bn in cheap loans for farmers – The state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) plans to offer 30 billion baht worth of low-interest loans, with no interest charges for the first three months, to farmers cultivating crops with short lifespans to ease their financial burden. (Bangkok Post, 7/7/15)

  • SME scheme to add NPL guarantees – The Finance Ministry will seek cabinet approval to raise the cap for bad loan guarantees from the state-owned Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG) in the 80-billion-baht programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), rising to 70% from 30% in a fresh effort to push commercial lenders to help SMEs. (Bangkok Post, 7/7/15)
  • Economists hail BOT appointment – Economists have welcomed the appointment of Veerathai Santiprabhob as the Bank of Thailand’s governor, who will start his five-year term on October 1. (The Nation, 8/7/15)
  • Prayut eyes measures to curb debts – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed state agencies to closely monitor farmers’ informal debts for fear that their burden will surge in light of the drought and weak economy. (Bangkok Post, 8/7/15)
  • JSCCIB cuts growth forecast to 3% – The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) forecasts this year’s economic growth at 3 per cent, down from an earlier estimate of 3.5 per cent, on lower-than-expected export value on the back of the slow global economic recovery. (The Nation, 8/7/15)
  • PM to rush budget disbursement – Gen Prayut at yesterday’s cabinet meeting questioned Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula about slower than expected budget disbursement. He ordered all ministries to speed up budget disbursement and all state agencies to swiftly sign contracts for planned investment projects within this month. “At this time, the prime minister looks very serious,” said deputy government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd. “The projects that have yet to sign contracts will be removed and the budget allocated to help farmers, address the drought and take care of public welfare.” (Bangkok Post, 8/7/15)
  • ‘Slow pace’ irks PM – Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is also head of the military’s National Council for Peace and Order, yesterday urged ministries to speed up disbursement of their budgets. He said he was unhappy with the slow process of disbursement so far this financial year. Prayut also said it was time to look at the underlying factors causing delays in disbursing the state budgets, such as whether the current rules and regulations were too stringent, or perhaps they had been lax in the past, allowing spending to take place relatively faster. Together with tourism income, public spending is seen as the only engine capable of driving the economy this year. (The Nation, 9/7/15)
  • Four key sectors picked in drive for export growth – The Commerce Ministry aims to drive exports in four key sectors – heavy industry, agricultural products and foods, petrochemicals, and jewellery and ornaments in an ambitious bid to achieve overall export growth of 1.2 per cent to US$230.23 billion (Bt7.83 trillion) this year. (The Nation, 9/7/15)
  • Public debt fell by 88.7 billion baht to 5.687 trillion at the end of May, with 20.4 billion worth of debt from the Financial Institutions Development Fund (FIDF) repaid and 60 billion worth of government bonds redeemed. The ratio of public debt to GDP fell to 42.58% at the end of May from 43.46% at the end of April. (Bangkok Post, 9/7/15)
  • PDMO urges state to hasten double-track rail spending – The Public Debt Management Office (PDMO) will propose speeding up investment in two double-track rail routes that have been delayed for several months. The cabinet has already given the nod for investment in the Nakhon RatchasimaKhon Kaen route, but the auction did not produce a winner. The other route is in the process of an environmental impact assessment (EIA). According to the original time frame for both routes, construction is to be completed within three years. The PDMO set aside 4 billion baht for the routes in the fiscal 2015 budget, but nothing has been taken out so far. (Bangkok Post, 9/7/15)
  • Sommai set to increase deficit to 4% – The Finance Ministry intends to run a bigger budget deficit of 4% of GDP for the 2017 fiscal year if China’s stock market slump continues for longer than expected. The expansionary state budget is aimed at increasing public spending to stimulate the economy and dispel potential impact from the rout in China’s stock market. The government plans to run a budget deficit of 1.9% of GDP for this fiscal year and 2.9% for the next one. In the short term, the ministry will ramp up budget disbursement to 92-93% of the 2.575-trillion-baht budget for the 2015 fiscal year and urge state agencies to prepare their procurement plans to immediately start drawing down budget when the 2016 fiscal year starts in October. (Bangkok Post, 10/7/15)
  • New RMF, LTF rules ‘confusing’ – The Revenue Department has clarified the income types eligible for LTF and RMF tax breaks after its revised rules confused a lot of people. The department’s director-general on July 2 issued three announcements redefining the criteria on investments in long-term equity funds (LTFs) and retirement mutual funds (RMFs), the popular tax breaks for salarymen. Under the new rules effective on Jan 1, 2015, an LTF investment in an amount up to 15% of one’s “taxable income” will be eligible for personal income tax break. (Bangkok Post, 9/7/15)
  • Meltdown of China’s stock could affect Thai exports – The 30-per-cent decline in the value Chinese stocks over the past three or four months is considered severe from the standpoint of a small and vulnerable economy like Thailand’s, Finance Minister Sommai Phasee said yesterday. (The Nation, 10/7/15)
  • Panel to propose tax reform plan with a windfall twist to boost revenue – A tax committee under the National Reform Council is set to propose the second round of tax reforms to the government, with the package to include the introduction of a windfall tax aimed at increasing the tax revenue of local governments. (The Nation, 10/7/15)
  • Prolonged drought ‘likely to hurt GDP’, UTCC survey finds more than Bt68bn in loss so far this year – The worst drought in half a century will drag economic growth down by half a percentage point this year, causing gross domestic product to expand by less than 3 per cent, according to a survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. (The Nation, 10/7/15)
  • State banks ordered to help fend off forfeitures of land to loan sharks – Finance Minister Sommai Phasee has instructed the four state banks to give a helping hand to low-income debtors in danger of losing their land that they used for collateral to borrow outside the system. (The Nation, 10/7/15)
  • TDRI urges speedy action to boost economy – The Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) predicts that the economy will remain in the doldrums this year and urges the government to speed up public investment and launch measures to help low-income earners and restore investor confidence. The think tank estimates that GDP will come in at 2.75-3.25% this year, said research fellow Nonarit Bisonyabut, adding that almost all growth drivers remain lukewarm. (Bangkok Post, 10/7/15)


  • Renegotiations “possible” after NO leads Greek referendum on debt deal – Renegotiations have become “possible” for the Greece government and the creditors after the Sunday’s Greek referendum showed a strong lead of NO on the creditors bailout offer. “The NO side has won the referendum with an overwhelming majority, we have to respect the vote of Greek people,” European Parliament President Martin Schulz said in a statement. (Xinhua, 6/7/15)
  • Eurogroup to discuss situation after Greece’s referendum – The Eurogroup head said late Sunday night the Eurogroup will discuss state of play on Tuesday following the referendum in Greece on Sunday in which the NO side prevailed. “I take note of the outcome of the Greek referendum. This result is very regrettable for the future of Greece,” Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said in a statement. (Xinhua, 6/7/15)
  • UK services PMI jumps in June, signalling faster economic growth – Britain’s private-sector services grew more than expected last month, suggesting the economic recovery picked up going into the second half of the year, a survey showed on Friday. The Markit/CIPS UK Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose by 2 points in June to 58.5, topping all forecasts in a Reuters poll and staying comfortably above the 50 mark that divides growth and contraction. (Reuters, 3/7/15) Eurozone economic growth speeds up – Eurozone business activity rose at its fastest pace in four years in June, boosted by higher spending by consumers and businesses, a survey has indicated. The final Markit composite eurozone Purchasing Manages’ Index (PMI), which combines manufacturing and services activity, rose to 54.2, its highest reading since May 2011. (BBC, 3/7/15)
  • HSBC indicator for China services activity slows in June – The service sector continued to expand in June, but at its slowest rate since January, according to an industry index released by HSBC on Friday. The HSBC/Markit China’s services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) was posted at 51.8 in June, down from 53.5 in May. (Xinhua, 3/7/15)
  • ISM Non-manufacturing Index Rises to 56.0 in June, Near Expectations – The U.S. service sector plodded along in June, according to data released Monday by the Institute for Supply Management. Respondents were generally upbeat about the economy. The ISM’s nonmanufacturing purchasing managers index edged up to 56.0 in June from 55.7 in May. Forecasters surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected last month’s PMI to rise to 56.3. “The service sector continues to expand at a solid pace, but the pace of expansion is no longer accelerating,” wrote economists at Jefferies in a research note. (WSJ, 6/7/15)
    Growth and hiring in the US service sector slowed down in June – Growth and hiring in the US service sector slowed down in June. The final services PMI reading from Markit Economics came in at 54.8 in June, down from 56.2 in May and below the reading of 54.9 that was expected. (Business Insider, 6/7/15)
  • Greece prepares new bailout bid ahead of E.U. summit – European leaders faced a dilemma Monday about whether to back down in the face of a resounding Greek rejection of their austerity demands, amid signs that Greece was preparing a more conciliatory bid for financial rescue just days before its banks face collapse. (Washington Post, 6/7/15)
  • Chinese economy shows positive signs – Multiple economic indicators in recent months suggest the Chinese economy is over the worst as pro-growth and reform measures take effect, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). “Positive changes are occurring due to government policies and reform measures,” according to Sheng Laiyun, NBS spokesperson, who made the remarks in an interview hosted on the bureau’s website on Monday. (Xinhua, 6/7/15)
  • Imported vehicle sales in Japan rise 21% on year in June – Sales of new imported vehicles in Japan, including those built abroad by Japanese automakers, rose 21.0 percent in June from a year earlier to 32,903 units, an industry body said Monday. Sales of foreign-brand vehicles grew 19.2 percent to 29,031 units and those of Japanese-brand cars increased 37.4 percent to 3,872 units, according to the Japan Automobile Importers Association. (Kyodo, 6/7/15)
  • Japan’s May economic index down, shows economy “pausing” – Japan’s key composite index of economic indicators fell in May following a rise in the previous month, data showed Monday, prompting the government to downgrade its assessment of the nation’s economy for the first time in nine months. The index of coincident indicators, such as industrial output, retail sales and new job offers, dropped 1.8 points from the previous month to 109.2 against the 2010 base of 100, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report. (Kyodo, 6/7/15)
  • Greek debt talks deadline Sunday, Thursday the latest for Greek proposals: EU’s Tusk -The Greek debt talks will end this week and Greek proposals including detailed reform plan should be presented by Thursday at the latest, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Tuesday night. As the finance ministers of euro zone countries didn’t receive new proposals they had expected from Greece on Tuesday’s Eurogroup meeting, Tusk urged Greece to submit its proposals in next days. “The Greek government will on Thursday 9 July at the latest set out in detail its proposals for a comprehensive and specific reform agenda for assessment by the three Institutions to be presented to the Eurogroup,” he said after a eurozone summit meeting in Brussels on Greece debt crisis. (Xinhua, 7/7/15)
  • U.S. Job Openings Remain at Historic Highs – The number of job openings in the U.S. was little changed in May, remaining at its highest level on record, the Labor Department said Tuesday.Job openings ticked up slightly to 5.36 million in May, from a revised reading of 5.33 million the previous month. The number of voluntary quits was unchanged from a month earlier, at 2.7 million, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. (WSJ, 7/7/15)
  • The goods and services deficit of the United States was 41.9 billion U.S. dollars in May, an increase of 1.2 billion dollars from April’s revised level, according to the U.S. Commerce Department Tuesday. (Xinhua, 8/7/15)
  • BRICS nations agree to create $100 billion forex pool – The 5-nation BRICS group today signed an agreement to create a USD 100 billion pool of foreign- exchange reserves to help each other “in case of any problems with dollar liquidity”, with India chipping in USD 18 billion. India’s contribution of USD 18 billion to the Pool will be same as that of Brazil and Russia. China would put in the maximum of USD 41 billion, while South Africa would chip in USD 5 billion. (Economic Times, 7/7/15)
  • ESM confirms receiving formal aid request from Greece – The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) have received a formal request for bailout aid from Greece to avoid Greek default and Grexit, a spokesperson of ESM said on Wednesday. The request has asked for a threeyear loan from the bailout fund, but the official declined to mention the amount. (Xinhua, 9/7/15)
  • ECB maintains level of ELA to Greek banks – European Central Bank (ECB) decided to maintain the provision of emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) to Greek banks at the level decided on June 26, according to a press release issued by ECB on Monday evening. (Xinhua, 7/7/15)
  • UK defence spending to be kept at 2% of GDP – Defence spending in the UK will continue to meet the Nato defence spending target of 2%, says the chancellor, George Osborne. The news that the UK will maintain defence spending of at least 2% of GDP, not only this year, but for every year of the current parliament, was announced by Osborne during the latest budget on Wednesday. (The Guardian, 8/7/15)
  • British house prices up 1.7% in June – The latest Halifax house price index released on Wednesday showed that British average house prices stood at £200,280 (~US$307,706) in June after seasonal adjustment, increasing by 1.7 percent from May. (Xinhua, 8/7/15)
  • Japan logs current account surplus for 11th month in May – Japan posted a current account surplus for the 11th straight month in May, as declining crude oil prices continued to push down imports and a weaker yen boosted income from abroad, the government said Wednesday. The surplus stood at 1,880.9 billion yen ($15.37 billion), the largest in eight years for the reporting month, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report. (Kyodo, 8/7/15)
  • U.S. Jobless Claims Rise to 297,000 – The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits rose last week but remained at historically low levels. Initial jobless claims, an estimate of layoffs, climbed 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 297,000 in the week ended July 4, the Labor Department said. That was the highest level since February. (WSJ, 9/7/15)
  • Greece debt crisis: Eurozone receives economic reform plan – The Greek government has submitted economic reform proposals to try to secure a further bailout from its creditors, eurozone officials say. They say they received the plan late on Thursday – just two hours before a midnight deadline. They will now study it ahead of EU meetings at the weekend. (BBC, 9/7/15)
  • UK interest rates remain at record low of 0.5% – UK interest rates have been held at 0.5% again by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee. Rates have now remained on hold for more than six years and the Bank is not expected to raise them until next year. However, the latest forecast from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) revised its growth forecasts for 2015 down slightly to 2.4% from 2.5%. (BBC, 9/7/15)
  • China: Central bank injects 35 bln into market – The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, has injected 35 billion yuan (5.7 billion U.S. dollars) into the money market through open market operations, it announced on Thursday. This marked the fifth consecutive cash injection the central bank has carried out through regular reverse repurchase agreements (repo) since June 25. (Xinhua, 9/7/15)
  • China Focus: Consumer inflation picks up, producer deflation stays stubborn – China’s consumer inflation ticked slightly higher in June while at wholesale level, deflation remained a problem for a 40th month in a row, official data showed on Thursday. China’s consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, edged up 1.4 percent in June, slightly above market forecasts of 1.3 percent and a 1.2-percent rise in May, according to the NBS. (Xinhua, 9/7/15)
  • China’s producer prices continue to slide in June – China’s producer prices in June slid 4.8 percent year on year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Thursday. The producer price index (PPI), a measure of costs for goods at the factory gate, was down 0.4 percent month on month. (Xinhua, 9/7/15)

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