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

Thailand Q1 Investment Applications Soar 80{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} as FDI More Than Double says BOI

The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) said today that in the first quarter of 2021, investment applications rose 80{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} from the year earlier period to a total value of 123.4 billion baht (USD3.9 billion), led by projects in the medical and electric and electronics (E&E) sectors, as foreign direct investment (FDI) applications more than doubled.

The total number of project applications filed, 401, was 14{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} higher than the 351 filed in the January-March quarter of last year, the BOI said.

Out of that total, the 191 FDI projects represented a combined application value of 62 billion baht, a 143{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} increase from the adjusted 25.6 billion baht in total value of the 231 FDI applications submitted in the first three months of 2020.

South Korea, China, and Singapore top three sources

The top three source countries of FDI applications during the first quarter were South Korea, China, and Singapore, with similar … Read the rest

Being a small company is a big plus when you’re at ZIM

Over the last 3 years, ZIM, one of the world’s 11 most profitable shipping companies, has set itself apart from the old-school shipping industry, complex processes, outmoded technology and sluggish response to changes.

In 2021, ZIM stands out as a dynamic technology driven company, that puts customer and employee experience at the center. This transformation has been powered by an advanced digital systems architecture and adoption of agile, creative and innovative work methods.

This means that the ZIM of today is a highly attractive employer, much closer in nature to leading high-tech companies such as Google or Microsoft, than its shipping peers. This is especially true given its headquarters which are located in the heart of Haifa’s high-tech zone and its strong global presence.

ZIM’s Glassdoor rating of 4.4 – well above the global average of 3.4/5 – is testimony to the impact of this change and the wave of … Read the rest

Finance Ministry Reduces 2021 Growth Forecast to 2.3{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29}

BANGKOK (NNT) – The Finance Ministry has reduced its 2021 economic growth forecast for a second time to 2.3{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} from 2.8{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} growth, after a third wave of coronavirus infections struck Thailand this month.

Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) Director-General Kulaya Tantitemit said the ministry slashed its forecast for the number of foreign tourists to only 2 million this year from 5 million it had predicted three months ago.

She said the expected fewer tourists will have quite an impact as that will cut tourism money to just over 100 billion baht from 260 billion baht previously projected.

The latest outbreak has seen half of its overall cases reported this month alone and came as the country was preparing to reopen more broadly to foreign tourists, as vaccinations increase globally.

The Director-General said inoculations at home and abroad could provide some support. The distribution of vaccines is very important as it will … Read the rest

Clear skies over Asia’s new foreign investment landscape?

Compounding the fallout of the US–China trade war, the global pandemic and recession have caused considerable speculation on the future of foreign investment and global value chains (GVCs). But though there is likely to be some permanent change, it will probably not be as great as politicians expect.

The United States is alarmed at China’s technological advance. It has instituted a range of restrictions on sales of high-tech products to China and Chinese investment in the United States, and is heavily taxing imports from China.

These measures were introduced by the Trump administration and are under review by the Biden administration — but most of them will likely remain in place, reflecting a bipartisan distrust of China.

China, in turn, has doubled down on industrial policies aimed at generating domestic innovation and limiting technology imports. The pandemic caused temporary global shortages for medical equipment, raising concerns about dependence on imports … Read the rest

Singapore’s PayNow and Thailand’s PromptPay Launch Cross-border Payment System

In a global first, Singapore and Thailand have linked their real-time payment systems, PayNow and PromptPay allowing international fund transfers between the two countries within minutes.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have launched on Thursday a linkage of Thailand’s PromptPay and Singapore’s PayNow, marking the world’s first bridge between national real-time retail payment systems.

This new cross-border integration allows international fund transfers within minutes and could pave the way for a cross-border payments network with other ASEAN countries.

The linkage allows customers of participating banks in Thailand and Singapore to transfer funds of up to THB25,000 or S$1,000 daily across the two countries, using just a mobile number.

There will be no need to populate information fields such as the recipient’s full name and bank account details, as with normal remittance solutions. The funds will flow seamlessly and securely between customers’ accounts in

Read the rest

Developing Asia growth set to rebound to 7.3{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} in 2021 (ADB)

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (28 April 2021) — Economic growth in developing Asia is set to rebound to 7.3{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} this year, supported by a healthy global recovery and early progress on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, according to a new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The projected resurgence follows a 0.2{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} contraction last year, according to ADB’s flagship economic publication, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2021, released today.

The region’s growth is forecast to moderate to 5.3{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} in 2022

Excluding the newly industrialized economies of Hong Kong, China; the Republic of Korea; Singapore; and Taipei,China, developing Asia’s economic activity is expected to grow 7.7{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} this year and 5.6{fde03d2f1c3ee029f0b86461a3e50e9d647f04138057fbe6f119870871f02d29} in 2022.

“Growth is gaining momentum across developing Asia, but renewed COVID-19 outbreaks pose a threat to recovery,” said ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada.

“Economies in the region are on diverging paths. Their trajectories are shaped by the extent of domestic outbreaks, the

Read the rest