1. Oil Fund scraps 1-baht discount : Fuel prices to rise by 50-60 satang per litre as tensions ease. The Energy Ministry yesterday announced the end of the onebaht discount on eight types of motor fuel, saying US-Iran military tensions were likely to ease and pose little threat to the stability of oil prices. Bangkok Post
  2. Consumer confidence at lowest since May 2016 : Consumer confidence continued to decline in December, to the lowest level since May 2016, as the public fretted over the economic slowdown, mounting political instability and global uncertainty. Bangkok Post
  3. Baht’s moves dodge US watch list : BoT underlines continued action. Thailand again managed to avoid placement on the US watch list for currency manipulation, while the Bank of Thailand affirmed that steps have been taken to curb the baht’s gain with an almost US$80-billion increase in foreign reserves over the past five years. Bangkok Post
  4. TOT-CAT merger gets cabinet nod : The cabinet yesterday approved the merger of TOT and CAT Telecom and the formation of a new company, National Telecom (NT), which will be 100% owned by the Finance Ministry. Bangkok Post
  5. Korn eyeing ‘a bigger role’ : Speculation rife key Democrat quit party to launch ‘political third force’. Former finance minister Korn Chatikavanij’s surprise decision to quit the Democrat Party has sparked fierce speculation he is about to found a new party which could be a force to be reckoned with. Bangkok Post
  6. Somkid reiterates spending splurge : B1tn targeted for fiscal 2020 Q2 alone. The government vows to rev up spending by much as 1 trillion baht in the second quarter of fiscal 2020, in part to boost the country’s economic growth. Bangkok Post
  7. TAT: Tepid growth for Chinese New Year : Thailand expects slow growth of foreign tourist arrivals during Chinese New Year, according to a Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) forecast. Bangkok Post
  8. Takorn: 5G adoption could lift 2020 GDP : 5G adoption could contribute 1.02% of the country’s GDP of 17.3 trillion baht projected for this year, says the head of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). Bangkok Post
  9. Water wars looming : Shortage puts EEC projects under threat. The sustainability of the government’s flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) plan is at risk of being stymied by drought and water conflicts, water experts warn. Bangkok Post
  10. BBL expects NPL rise as economic struggles add up : Overall non-performing loans (NPL) are expected to continue their rise this year as the downbeat outlook for the local and global economies persists, compounded by potential drought and the baht’s strength, says a senior executive at Bangkok Bank (BBL). Bangkok Post

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