• B58bn for investment in fiscal year’s H2 — A total of 58 billion baht for investment in infrastructure megaprojects is expected to be drawn down in the second half of fiscal 2016, says the Public Debt Management Office (PDMO). (Bangkok Post, 19/1/16)
  • GHB to expand loans for low-income people to Bt25bn from Bt20bn, after more demand to borrow near Bt20bn. (Thai Rath, 15/1/16)
  • 4G winners facing loan adjustment — The winners of the 900-megahertz spectrum auctions are unlikely to make their first payments of bidding fees this month as initially expected due to strict bank lending conditions. (Bangkok Post, 19/1/16)
  • Thai Dec auto sales rise for 2nd straight month — In 2015, domestic sales dropped 9.3 percent from 2014, when they slumped 33.7%, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said. Annual domestic auto sales had declined since May 2013, following the fading effect of a government first-car subsidy scheme, which ended in 2012, when sales surged 81%. (Reuters, 19/1/16)
  • NGV price to be floated from July, panel resolves — THE ENERGY Policy Administrative Committee yesterday resolved “conditionally” to float the prices of natural gas for vehicles on July 16, strip PTT of its monopoly on imports of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and raise the Oil Fund’s levies on petrol, gasohol and diesel sales. The price will be reviewed on the 16th of every month. (The Nation, 21/1/16)

  • Noodle sales growth gone soft — Thailand’s instant noodle sector grew by only 0.4% last year, the lowest rate since the food debuted here 44 years ago. Vathit Chokwatana, a vice-president of Saha Pathanapibul Plc, the distributor of Mama instant noodles, said overall instant noodle sales grew by only 1% in 2014 and almost did not grow at all last year due to the unfavorable economy, falling farm prices and drought. (Bangkok Post, 22/1/16)
  • OPEC sees oil market rebalancing in 2016, but Iran to counter non-OPEC decline — OPEC forecast on Monday that oil supply from non-member countries will post a larger-than-expected decline this year due to the collapse in prices, boosting the need for crude from the producer group. Supply outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would decline by 660,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2016. (Reuters, 18/1/16)
  • China to start implementing RRR for offshore banks’ domestic deposits — China’s central bank said on Monday it will start implementing a reserve requirement ratio (RRR) on offshore banks’ domestic deposits, in what appears to be its latest attempt to stem speculation in the yuan and manage money flowing in and out of the country. (Reuters, 18/1/16)
  • China GDP Slows to Weakest Since 2009 on Manufacturing Slide — Industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset investment all slowed at the end of the year, while gross domestic product rose 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier. Full-year growth of 6.9 percent, the least since 1990, was in line with the government’s target of about 7 percent. (Bloomberg, 19/1/16)
  • The Philly Fed’s outlook for manufacturing just fell to a 3-year low — The Philly Fed manufacturing index came in at -3.5, better than expected and up from last month’s -10.2 reading. Expectations were for the report to come in at -5.9. The report’s reading on future expectations, however, continued to decline and is now at the lowest levels since November 2012. (Business Insider, 21/1/16)

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