1. Strict rules bar hotels from asset warehousing scheme: More Thai hotels may opt to sell their properties if the stringent measures set for financial aid schemes, such as asset warehousing, prevent them from accessing soft loans. Bangkok Post
  2. Arkhom: Debt freeze could lengthen: Financial institutions should consider if the Bank of Thailand’s move to suspend principal and interest payment for two months should be extended to provide more breathing room to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) this year and next as the pandemic’s impact has been severe, says Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith. Bangkok Post
  3. Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) yesterday issued a ban on commercial domestic flights to destinations in provinces hardest-hit by Covid or the dark red zones, other domestic flights can only fly at 50% capacity.
  4. OIC mulls rejig of Covid framework: The Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) is discussing with the Thai General Insurance Association (TGIA) tightening the interpretation framework for the conditions of Covid insurance contracts to protect consumers and prevent abuse of legal loopholes, said Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn, OIC’s secretary-general. Bangkok Post
  5. Housing sector faces contraction risk as cases rise: The expanded lockdown measures and 30-day closure of construction sites and worker camps since early this month will plunge the housing market into a severe contraction, according to property experts. Vichai Viratkapan, acting directorgeneral of the Real Estate Information Center (REIC), said there is a very high chance that the housing market this year will come close to a worstcase scenario. Bangkok Post
  6. Govt’s finally signed a supply agreement for 20m doses of Pfizer vaccine, three months after it said it would buy them, delivery is expected in 4Q21.
  7. Cabinet cuts budget for e-voucher scheme: The cabinet yesterday cut the spending budget for the “Ying Chai Ying Dai” (the more you spend, the more you get) e-voucher cashback scheme to 9.8 billion baht from 28 billion baht because of fewer than-expected participants. Bangkok Post
  8. Airlines nearing brink of collapse: Up to 20,000 workers could lose their jobs. Over 20,000 employees from seven airlines are on the verge of losing their jobs if the ban imposed on domestic flights is prolonged to three months without help from the long-awaited 5-billion-baht soft loan from the government, according to the Airlines Association of Thailand (AAT). Bangkok Post
  9. Media spending to see 4% decline: Dip due to outbreak, slash in budgets. The worsening pandemic situation and plunge in advertising budgets are expected to drive down media spending this year with a 4% year-onyear contraction to 72.1 billion baht — a critical situation for the industry, according to Media Intelligence (MI), a creative and media planning agency. Bangkok Post
  10. FTI upgrades production target on export prospects: The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has increased its total car production target this year to 1.55-1.6 million units, fuelled by good export prospects, although the third wave of the pandemic is expected to deal a blow to the domestic car industry. Bangkok Post

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