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Delegation off to Japan on BoI mission

Feb 16. 2015
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MR Pridiyathorn Davakula, deputy prime minister in charge of economic affairs, and Industry Minister Chakramon Phasukavanich will lead an delegation to Japan from today through Saturday, said Hiranya Sujinai, acting secretary-general of the Board of Inves
The visit is aimed at explaining the new BOI investment-incentive packages that came into effect at the beginning of this year, as well as to meet with Japanese private-sector organisations to discuss expanding investment cooperation, she |said.
SET expects market cap 
to hit Bt250 bn this year
The Stock Exchange of Thailand yesterday expressed confidence that it can more than double its market |capitalisation to Bt250 billion this year.
“Now, our market cap is about Bt100 billion, and there will likely be 20 companies, excluding funds, submitting filings [to the Securities and Exchange Commission]. 
“There are also about 20 companies waiting for listing,” said Chanit Chanchainarong, vice president of the SET. 
Each company is expected to have a market cap of Bt1 billion-Bt3 billion. 
The SET’s market cap rose to Bt100 billion after the Jasmine Broadband Internet Infrastructure Fund and Plan B Media joined the board.
The SET is still interested in medium-sized enterprises that need to mobilise capital through the Thai bourse.
About 80 per cent of Thailand’s economic growth is contributed by general businesses and the rest by state-owned enterprises. 
SET president Kesara Manchusri said the exchange’s “Stock Allocation for Savings”, a project for its 40th anniversary, facilitated donations of stocks by investors to the Saijai Thai Foundation. 
Donations can be made through www.set.co.th or www.tsd.co.th.
IBank may sell off 
stake in Amanah
The Islamic Bank of Thailand is considering disposing of its 49-per-cent stake in its hire-purchase arm, Amanah Leasing. 
The proceeds of the sale could help the bank build up sufficient working capital, Chaiwat Utaiwan, chairman of IBank, said yesterday.
However, spinning off Amanah is not a priority for IBank because the assets of the company are about Bt2 billion, while IBank’s assets are more than Bt100 billion.
The bank needs to go ahead with its rehabilitation plan to stop losses this year. IBank bears a retained loss of more than Bt10 billion.
Under the plan submitted to the State Enterprise Policy Commission, or “superboard”, IBank must reduce its non-performing finance (NPF) rate by Bt20 billion from the existing Bt47.8 billion.
In the case of unresolvable NPFs, IBank will set up an asset-management company and take legal action.
The bank will refocus on Muslim customers, especially depositors. It wants to have a million Muslim customers within three years, up from 300,000 now.
The bank has Bt112 billion of deposits.
It is discussing with the Finance Ministry the size of its planned capital increase. It might be reduced to Bt10 billion from the initial Bt16 billion to comply with the policy of the superboard, which wants the bank to seek partners to co-manage the business.
Nearly 500,000 tonnes
of rice sold to 38 traders
The Commerce Ministry has agreed to sell 496,243 tonnes of rice to 38 traders out of the 1 million tonnes it tendered out recently. 
The government will earn Bt7.85 billion from this auction.
Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarikulya said yesterday that the government would release another million tonnes of its rice by late this month to continue clearing out its stocks.
The ministry will also invite China’s rice import agency to visit Thailand soon to sign a purchase contract for 2 million tonnes of rice and 200,000 tonnes of rubber, he said. 
A ministry source said the rice auction in January was only half successful, as some bidders were found to have close relations with Siam Indica, which has been accused of involvement in an illegal rice-pledging contract with the past government. 
The ministry decided not to sell rice to those firms.

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