Thailand’s Economic Recovery Delayed By Covid-19 Outbreak

Thailand’s economic recovery is set to be delayed by a surge in Covid-19 cases and renewed lockdown measures in April and May.

Thailand’s economy has been gradually recovering from the pandemic shock in H120, on the back of fiscal stimulus and a relaxing of domestic mobility restrictions, growing 0.2% q-o-q in Q121. Indeed, we expected the economic output to only recover to its pre-pandemic level by 2022, following the 6.1% contraction in 2020.

However, with the economy facing an aggressive rise in Covid-19 cases once again (see chart below) and policymakers tightening restrictions on activities, we believe the recovery will face a setback. Officials have forced the closure of restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues, with the severity of measures differing among provinces and varying in lengths of duration.

While not as severe as measures imposed a year prior, the disruptions will send economic activity into contraction once again … Read the rest

How the “four M’s” underpin a bright Asian future

For a look into the future of the global economy, and where the power is shifting, consider technology developments in both China and India.,

In a mere decade, China’s e-commerce market has grown from less than 1% of global sales, into the world’s largest market in 2016, representing more than 40% of transactions by value. Platforms such as Alibaba and JD.com reach nearly a billion eager shoppers, in a market three times bigger than the US’. 

Meanwhile, India’s adoption of mobile technologies is surging at an astonishing rate as Reliance Jio – which became India’s dominant tech firm virtually overnight – brings fast connections to India’s 1.3 billion people. Even as Covid-19 spread, Google and Facebook separately invested billions in this telecoms company (a highly unusual step for rival tech giants) amid projections it would hit 500 million subscribers by 2023. 

Events in the world’s two most populous nations capture … Read the rest

Thailand close to completing the world’s biggest floating hydro-solar farm

About 144,417 solar panels are being installed on a reservoir in the northeast province of Ubon Ratchathani, where workers are completing the last of seven solar farms covering 300 acres (121 hectares) of water.

The state-run Electricity Generation Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is touting the pilot project as one of the world’s largest hybrid hydro-solar power ventures and aims to replicate it at eight more dams over the next 16 years.

Highlights

  • Thailand is creating one the world’s biggest floating hydro-solar hybrid projects on the surface of a dam, which is close to completion.
  • The state-run Electricity Generation Authority of Thailand (EGAT) aims to replicate this at eight more dams over the next 16 years.
  • Head of the initiative Chanin Saleechan has said this could generate 2,725 megawatts of electricity, once all the projects are completed in every dam.
  • Thailand is aiming to draw 35% of its energy from non-fossil
Read the rest

Thai banking system remained resilient amid new wave of COVID-19

According to Ms. Suwannee Jatsadasak, Senior Director, Bank of Thailand, reported on the Thai banking system’s performance in the first quarter of 2021 that the Thai banking system remained resilient with high levels of capital fund, loan loss provision and liquidity to accommodate loan demand and weather increasing economic uncertainties arising from the new wave of COVID-19.

Credit assistance measures, coupled with revisions to rules on loan classification and provisioning helped alleviate the deterioration of bank loan quality. Meanwhile, banking system’s profitability declined from the same period last year as a result of lower interest income from loans.

Details are as follows:

Capital Fund of the Thai banking system was at 3,017.2 billion baht, equivalent to capital adequacy ratio (BIS ratio) of 20.0%. Loan loss provision remained high at 823.4 billion baht with NPL coverage ratio of 149.7%. Liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) registered at 186.5%.

In the first quarter of … Read the rest

Asian cities most threatened by environmental risk

Companies operating and investing in Asian cities are going to face an increasingly stiff test to their resilience.

A global study of the world’s biggest cities finds Jakarta to be at the highest risk, thanks to high levels of air pollution coupled with risks of seismic activity and flooding. Of the 100 most threatened cities by environmental factors, 99 cities are in Asia, with 80 of them in the region’s powerhouses China and India.

According to the first instalment of [email protected] series, which ranks the world’s 576 largest urban centres on their exposure to a range of environmental and climate-related threats, 99 of the world’s 100 riskiest cities are in Asia, including 37 in China and 43 in India.

1.4 bn city dwellers facing high or extreme environmental risk

[email protected] data reveals Jakarta is the riskiest city, but across the globe 414 cities – with over 1.4 billion inhabitants – … Read the rest

Thailand’s Recovery uneven with setbacks in the near term

The pace of contraction in GDP narrowed to 2.6% y/y in Q1, following a 4.1% fall in the previous quarter amid strong growth in public investment and goods exports.

Prospects for Q2 have deteriorated

The surge in Covid cases, slow vaccine rollout, and new restrictions will hit confidence and delay the anticipated recovery in household consumption, particularly of services. We also expect the planned opening of key tourist destinations to quarantine-free travel to be delayed. We expect GDP growth to grow 2.8% this year.

GDP contracted by 2.6% y/y in Q1, in line with our forecast although better than consensus. Sequential growth slowed to 0.2% on the quarter (seasonally adjusted) with the re-imposition of stringent containment measures in January weighing on household spending and business investment.

Household spending contracted 0.4% q/q in Q1, 1.2% lower than a year ago

Indeed, household spending contracted 0.4% q/q in Q1, to be 1.2% … Read the rest

Bank of Thailand adds new measures to support post-COVID-19 recovery

BANGKOK (NNT) – The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has added measures for retail loan restructuring, as part of its third phase of debt relief for individual borrowers, aiming to ease hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to BoT deputy governor Ronadol Numnonda, the new measures, implemented on 4 May, will allow vehicle hire-purchase loans and car title loan borrowers, including motorcycle owners, to return their vehicles to creditors if they cannot repay debt because of the outbreak.

If a vehicle is returned and borrowers still owe a balance, the central bank asked financial institutions to help restructure the remaining debt on a case-by-case basis. The financial institutions include commercial banks, specialized financial institutions and non-bank companies.

The measures also offer additional options for longer loan extensions and lower interest rates than the second phase. For mortgage borrowers, the central bank allows repayment on a “step-up” basis, which is a … Read the rest

Sluggish vaccine campaign threatens Thailand’s economic recovery

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) slashed again Thailand’s economic growth forecast for 2021 for the second time this year targeting a mere 1 to 2{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} growth, depending mainly on the procurement and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

The central bank’s previous estimate of GDP’s growth was set at 3{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} before the beginning of the third wave of Covid-19 in April, but it now includes three different scenarios targeting between 1 and 2{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} growth depending on the country’s vaccination drive.

The Thai economy would expand at a much lower rate due to the third wave of the outbreak which affected domestic spending. In addition, the recovery of foreign tourist figures would be affected by the longer-than-expected delay in the re-opening of the country and the uncertain international travel restriction measures. 

Bank of Thailand press release MAY 5, 2021

For the base scenario, the bank predicts a GDP growth of 2{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29}, assuming that … Read the rest

COVID-19 Vaccine Roll Outs in ASEAN Live Updates by Country

ASEAN coronavirus Covid-19 live updates by country

Brunei

Brunei has joined the global Covax scheme and is expecting to have the COVID-19 vaccine in Q1 2021, having sourced enough supplies to cover 50{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} of the population. Discussions are on-going with other suppliers.   

  • Brunei recorded one new case on May 8, bringing the total to 330 cases amid three deaths.
  • Brunei saw one new case on May 7, taking the total to 229 cases amid three deaths.
  • Brunei recorded one new case on May 4, taking the total to 228 amid three deaths.
  • Read more on Brunei 

Cambodia

Cambodia is expected to import vaccines from both China and Russia. China’s vaccines are still undergoing clinical trials while Russia has already commenced production. Australia has offered financial support to aid vaccine coverage in several southeast Asia countries including Cambodia.  

  • Cambodia recorded 538 new cases on May 8, bringing the total to
Read the rest

The Combination of Good Graphics and Gameplay is Needed for Success in Gaming

Video games need a combination of great graphics within their gameplay to bring about success. Graphics are a representation of imagination in momentum.

What graphics bring to players, is an advanced reality. It represents that moment where our reality and imaginations connect and become as one. Gameplay measured at first sight by its graphics does of course represent very little to the roles of successful gaming, yet it is a piece of the puzzle. We must look deeper to understand how these two variables interact, and ultimately enhance gameplay for players.

Thailand: a rising force in the gaming industry

The name Thailand may not easily come to mind in any discourse on mobile or online gaming. However, with an estimated 27 million video gamers and projected revenue of $54m from online games in 2021, Thailand has positioned itself as a rising force in the gaming industry.

If you compare a … Read the rest