1. Excise tax collection on alcohol was short of the government target in FY7M18 (Oct 17-Apr 18). This was due mainly to the lower alcohol consumption despite the long holiday in April. Government campaigns and controlled zoning also help reduced alcohol consumption. ( Daily News, 14 / 5 / 18 )
  2. Department of Trade Negotiations (DTN) reported that international trade between South Korea and Thailand rose sharply by 20.6% YoY of which 87% of trade was under the FTA agreement. The DTN also suggests Thai businesses work to maximize the benefit from the FTA. Meanwhile, the government also aims to attract more cooperation and investment from South Korea (
  3. Competition to extend loans via mobile application has increased. KBANK has approved loans via mobile application (K Plus) in total worth Bt450mn YTD and targets Bt40bn this year. SCB has around 200,000 applicants per month for loans via mobile application with credit line of Bt500mn. BAY targets to extend Bt1bn loans via its mobile application called iFIN this year. ( Thansettakij, 14 / 5 / 18 )
  4. Bankers expect housing loans will be negatively impacted by adoption of IFRS 9 due to a calculation of L-T risk and banks will thus be more stringent in loan underwriting, i.e. requiring a higher down payment. The Oversight Committee on Accounting Professions (Ocap) has agreed to delay the implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standard 9 (IFRS 9) by at least one year from the original schedule of 2019.
  5. Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE) reports that income for farmers rose 50.44% YoY in the first four months of the year. This was due to higher rice production (+30.61%) and stronger price (+15.18%). The OAE also said that the government’s measures and more effective product management proven effective to help Thai farmers. (Thai Rath, 15/5/18
  6. The Bank of Thailand (BoT) kept its key interest rate unchanged at 1.5% at its latest MPC meeting. The bank revealed that economic momentum has been firmer than previously expected due to both domestic and external factors. Meanwhile, headline inflation has moved back to the central bank’s preferred band.  (Thai Rath, 17/5/2018)
  7. Thailand’s tourism income rose a strong 16% YoY in the first four months of this year. The report revealed that income from foreign visitors grew by 17.5% YoY (Bt731,000m) while income from Thai tourists rose by 23% (Bt267,000m). It is very likely that Thailand will achieve its tourism income target of Bt3tn this year. (Daily News, 17/5/2018)
  8. Japan’s April core consumer prices rose 0.7 percent from a year ago. Japan’s core consumer prices rose 0.7 percent in April from a year earlier, government data showed on Friday. The core consumer price index, which includes oil products but excludes fresh food prices, compared with economists’ median estimate for a 0.8 percent annual gain. Stripping away the effect of fresh food and energy, consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in April from a year ago. (CNBC, 18/5/18)
  9. Fed’s Bullard says U.S. yield curve might invert by early 2019. The U.S. yield curve could invert later this year to early 2019, St. Louis Federal Reserve James Bullard said on Monday, in a market move in which short-term U.S. interest rates rise above longer-term bond yields and which has preceded recent U.S. recessions. With the risk of a curve inversion, there is no need for the U.S. central bank to quicken its pace of increases on short-term rates, Bullard told reporters after his speech on cryptocurrencies at the CoinDesk Consensus 2018 conference. (Reuters, 15/5/18
  10. EU leaders struggle to save Iran economic ties from U.S. sanctions. European Union leaders agreed on Wednesday to try to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive and maintain their reviving economic cooperation with Tehran after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact. But the 28 EU leaders did not make any quick decisions during their first meeting on the matter since Trump quit the accord earlier this month, highlighting how U.S. clout in international trade and finance limits the Europeans’ scope for action. “As long as Iran respects the provisions of the deal, the EU will also respect it,” said Donald Tusk, president of the European Council and chairman of the leaders’ gathering in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. (Reuters, 17/5/18)

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