1. Prayut may announce political future in September. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has indicated he will make it known in September whether he will formally enter politics, while reiterating that his military government is committed to holding a general election early next year. (Bangkok post, 22/06/18)
  2. SME Bank offers B58bn in loans. The state-owned Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank) is offering low-rate loans worth a combined 58 billion baht to family-owned business operators turned juristic persons, farm processing entrepreneurs and innovative small-business operators.  (Bangkok Post, 23/06/18)
  3. Drafted bill on land tax to proceed on schedule. The government does not plan to postpone the legal enforcement of the drafted bill on land and building taxes, said Wisudhi Srisuphan, deputy minister of finance. ) The Nation, 27/06/18(
  4. Baht may fall further, says trader. The baht, set to become the worst-performing currency in emerging Asia this quarter, doesn’t look like it’s going to bottom anytime soon, according to Mizuho Bank Ltd. Foreign funds have pulled a net $3.8 billion from the nation’s equity market since the end of March, the most since at least 1999 on a quarterly basis, amid concerns that an escalation in trade frictions between the US and China will weigh on Thailand’s current-account surplus — a source of attraction for the country’s currency bulls. (Bangkok Post, 28/6/2018)
  5. As trade war looms, China cuts some banks’ reserve requirements to boost lending. China’s central bank said on Sunday it would cut the amount of cash that some banks must hold as reserves by 50 basis points (bps), releasing $108 billion in liquidity, to accelerate the pace of debt-for-equity swaps and spur lending to smaller firms. The reserve reduction, the third by the central bank this year, had been widely anticipated by investors amid concerns over market liquidity and a potential economic drag from a trade dispute with the United States. But the 700 billion yuan ($107.65 billion) in liquidity that the central bank said will result from the reduction in reserves was bigger than expected. (Reuters, 24/06/18)
  6. EU to respond to any U.S. auto tariff move. The European Union will respond to any U.S. move to raise tariffs on cars made in the bloc, a senior European Commission official said, the latest comments in an escalating trade row. U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to impose a 20 percent tariff on all imports of EU-assembled cars, a month after his administration launched an investigation into whether auto imports posed a national security threat. (Reuters, 23/06/18)
  7. OPEC and Allies agree to increase oil production. OPEC nations and oil-producing countries not in the cartel said Saturday they have agreed to share increased oil production a day after OPEC announced it would pump more crude oil — a move that should help contain the recent rise in global energy prices. Russia and other oil-producing allies said after their meeting in Vienna with OPEC countries they would endorse a nominal output increase of 1 million barrels crude oil per day. The statement did not say how exactly the production increase would be split between OPEC and non-OPEC nations. (AP, 24/06/18)
  8. China to pursue more trade with France, EU raises ‘difficult issues’. China told France on Monday it would buy more of its farm produce, hinted at future Airbus purchases and pledged to work on market access, shoring up its trade ties with Europe amid the increasing danger of a tariff war with the United States. (Reuters, 25/06/18)
  9. Britain is underestimating true size of EU divorce bill, say UK lawmakers. The British government’s estimate of how much it will have to pay the European Union as part of its divorce settlement is at least 10 billion pounds ($13 billion) too low, a committee of lawmakers said on Wednesday. (Reuters, 27/06/18) Consumer confidence falls in June despite expectations for gains. Consumer confidence fell to 126.4 in June. Although sentiment toward current business conditions was unchanged, the long-term outlook was not optimistic. (CNBC, 26/6/18)
  10. Putin-Trump summit set for July 16 in Helsinki. A long-awaited summit between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will take place in Helsinki on July 16, the Kremlin and the White House said in simultaneous statements Thursday. (Bangkok Post, 28/06/18) U.S. first-quarter GDP growth trimmed; labor market strong. The U.S. economy slowed more than previously estimated in the first quarter amid the weakest consumer spending in nearly five years, but growth appears to have since regained momentum on the back of a robust labor market and tax cuts. (Reuters, 28/06/18)

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