Reopening faces more hurdles: Uncertain timeline, slow vaccine rollout stymie plan to welcome back foreign tourists. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s vow on June 16 to reopen Thailand by mid-October can be deemed a failure as only a few islands are welcoming vaccinated foreigners. Five major tourist destinations – Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Hua Hin, Phetchaburi and Bangkok – were scheduled to reopen on Oct 1, but a Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) subcommittee recommended the date be pushed back to Nov 1. Bangkok Post
OIC issues waivers for firms reeling from Covid claims: The Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC) has issued seven urgent waivers to help sustain insurance companies facing liquidity issues from the surge in Covid claims. Bangkok Post
Energy Regulatory Commission selected 43 operators for 149.5MW community PP projects, with ACE securing 18 projects, 50MW, SCI’s 4 pjs (11MW), CV’s 3 projects (19.8MW), UAC’s 1 project (3MW).
Public Health Minister expects the number of new Covid cases to decline to about 5,000/day before end of October while remaining concerned that daily infections may again rise at a later date.
The cabinet yesterday greenlighted the public debt management plan which includes a new borrowing of Bt1.34trnl for fiscal 2022, starting in October.
Headline inflation posts 0.02% decline in August: Headline inflation in August contracted 0.02% year on-year, the first drop in five months, after the decline of fresh food prices and the government’s launch of stimulus measures to ease the cost of living during the pandemic, says Wuttipong Jittungsakul, deputy spokesperson of the Fiscal Policy Office. Bangkok Post
BOT says economy had bottomed out in 3Q and sees uptick in 4Q, fourth quarter, yet seems more pessimistic than market with 0.7% 2021 GDP growth forecast, vs 1.2% in Bloomberg survey. May be market yet to revise.
Oil fund tapped to keep biodiesel B10 affordable: The Energy Ministry will use the State Oil Fund to keep the retail price of biodiesel B10 from going above 30 baht per liter. Bangkok Post
B47bn on offer to save SME jobs: Worker handouts of 3,000 baht a month. The government plans to introduce more measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) retain workers and create new jobs, with 46.9 billion baht to be allocated. Bangkok Post
Household debt rose to Bt14.3trn ($423b) as of end-2Q, vs Bt14.1trn in 1Q, but ratio to GDP dropped to 89.3% from 90.6% in 1Q, said BOT.