1. Ministry of Public Health mulls offering fertility incentive to boost childbirth, expects to propose cabinet in Mar.
  2. BMW Group TH is planning to build an EV battery factory here this year to support its sales of battery EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs, competing with Chinese EV supply chains.
  3. Association eyes 2-4% premium growth: The Thai Life Assurance Association (TLAA) is targeting industry premium growth of 2-4% this year to 640-650 billion baht, with health insurance premiums expanding by double digits. President Sara Lamsam, who is also president and chief executive of Muang Thai Life Assurance, said industry premiums totalled 633 billion baht in 2023, up 3.61% from a year earlier, with the top 10 companies having a combined market share of 92.5%. Bangkok Post
  4. Real Estate Info Center said there’s >300K unsold units left from last year in 27 provinces worth Bt1,550b, a worrying sign for units valued at <Bt3m in BKK and surroundings.
  5. The MPI decreased by 2.94% yoy to 99.2 points in January as the country struggled with many econ problems, especially the impact of the highest level of car seizures in 5 years, Office of Industrial Economics (OIE).
  6. BOT to open application period for virtual banking licenses this month, then spend 9 months to evaluate qualifications, approval by mid-2025, operations begin in 2026. SCB + KakaoBank, ADVANC + KTB, and TRUE had expressed interests.
  7. Government’s pledged to attract the largest investment in 20 years to compensate for lost decades in the logistics sector, aiming to make Thailand a regional hub by 2030. Srettha maps air hub goal as Songkran festival nears: Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has set an ambitious goal to make Thailand a regional aviation centre and one of the world’s five largest cargo distribution hubs. Srettha eyes infrastructure outlays: Goal is to make nation a logistics hub. The government has pledged to attract the largest investment in 20 years to compensate for lost decades in the logistics sector, aiming to make Thailand a regional hub by 2030. Bangkok Post
  8. NPL provisions soar at state institutions: Provisions for non-performing loans (NPLs) by specialised financial institutions (SFIs) tallied 263% at the end of fiscal 2023, compared with 194% in September 2022, says a Finance Ministry source who requested anonymity. In September 2021, NPL provisions soared to 296%. The source said SFI loans totalled 5.95 trillion baht as of September 2023, up 5.22% year-on-year, while deposits tallied 6.03 trillion, up 3.54% year-on-year. As of September 2023, NPLs amounted to 294 billion baht, accounting for 4.47% of outstanding loans, an increase from 4.44% in June 2023. Bangkok Post
  9. Domestic oil demand set to rise this year: Demand for refined oil, especially jet fuel, in Thailand is expected to grow this year despite a projection of slow economic growth, says Thai Oil Plc, the country’s largest oil refinery by capacity. Consumption of jet fuel is expected to increase by 24.2% to 16.8 million litres per day (MLD) on average, up from 13.5 MLD last year, said Pornpiman Srisatabusaya, petroleum value chain analytic manager at Thai Oil. Bangkok Post
  10. SET plans switch to auction trading: The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) is preparing to upgrade measures to control stock price fluctuations from automatic order matching (AOM), with the change expected to be enforced by the third quarter, says the bourse. The statement was issued as the SET announced a warning to investors urging caution before deciding to buy or sell Miss Grand international (MGI) shares as the price continued to increase, even though fundamental factors remained unchanged. Bangkok Post

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