• OK given to unlock Sor Por Kor land. As expected, the cabinet yesterday said the powerful Section 44 of the interim charter should be invoked to unlock the use of Sor Por Kor agricultural land for three areas of business: petroleum, renewable energy and mining. But the focus of Section 44 will mainly apply to land that has already been allocated for development in those three industries . (Bangkok Post, 21/6/17)
  • Cabinet okays Sino-Thai deal. Cabinet yesterday gave the go-ahead for the construction of the Bt179bn Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima train project after lengthy delays. Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said the project will be divided into two parts, with civil and infrastructure work, accounting for 75% going to local contractors, and rails and trains, which includes signalling and operation systems, accounting for 25%, to be done by China. The ministry will propose the contract to the cabinet for approval this month. The construction is expected to commence in August or September. (Bangkok Post, 21/6/17)
  • 2 projects to be added in Thailand Future Fund. The projects worth Bt44.8bn of Expressway Authority of Thailand will be included in Thailand Future Fund, which will be available for investors in this September. (Thai Post, 20/6/17)
  • Thailand plans to sign electricity accord with Laos and Malaysia. THAILAND is preparing to sign a tripartite electricity-trading agreement with two neighbouring countries at the upcoming Asean Ministers of Energy Meeting. (The Nation, 20/6/17)
  • NBTC sets July bid for village broadband job. Thailand’s first state low-cost, high-speed fixed line-based broadband internet service will be offered to 3,920 border villages across 62 provinces by mid-2018 as the national telecom regulator attempts to bridge the digital divide. (IQ Biz, 21/6/17)
  • FTI index takes demoralising dip for second month in row. The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) index fell for the second consecutive month in May due to falling production capacity utilisation, in line with weak purchasing power. The FTI chairman Chen Namchaisiri said the FTI index fell to 85.5 in May from 86.4 in April, largely due to concerns about the lack of recovery in both the global and domestic economies.  (Bangkok Post, 22/6/17)
  • Fed’s Dudley confident U.S. inflation should rebound with wages. U.S. inflation is a bit low but should rebound alongside wages as the labor market continues to improve, an influential Federal Reserve official said on Monday, reinforcing the message that a recent patch of weak data is unlikely to derail plans to keep raising interest rates. The comments by New York Fed President William Dudley, a close ally of Fed Chair Janet Yellen, were among the first after the U.S. central bank hiked rates last week in the face of a series of soft inflation readings. (Reuters, 20/6/17)
  • Mnuchin confident that ‘massive tax reform’ will get done this year. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin predicted Tuesday that “massive tax reform” that includes cuts and changes to the system will get finished this year. In an interview with CNBC, Mnuchin said the issue is his “No. 1 focus.” The Trump administration had been hoping to get the issue resolved before the August break. Mnuchin did not present that aggressive of a timetable, but said he is confident the administration and Congress can get reform accomplished. (CNBC, 21/6/17)
  • MSCI says yes to China A-shares. MSCI said Tuesday it planned on adding China A-shares to its benchmark MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The index giant said it will add 222 China A Large Cap stocks in a phased manner beginning next year. (CNBC, 21/6/17)
  • UPDATE 1-U.S. crude and gasoline stockpiles fall – EIA. U.S. crude oil and gasoline stockpiles fell last week, while distillate inventories rose, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Crude inventories fell 2.5 million barrels in the week to June 16, surpassing analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 2.1 million barrels, as imports rose marginally by 56,000 barrels per day. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for U.S. crude futures fell by 1.08 million barrels, EIA said. (Reuters, 22/6/17)

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