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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

7 key service required by all Thai banks during ‘disruption’

Anukul

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7 key service required by all Thai banks during ‘disruption’ | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: The Straits Times
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The Bank of Thailand is demanding all Thai financial institutions to continue providing 7 basic financial services, including money withdrawals, fund transfers, deposits, payments, cash management and settlement systems, in an effort to avoid potential Covid-19 related disruption.

Secretary-general of the Thai Bankers Association, Kobsak Duangdee, says after the conference call between all banks and the central bank, they’ve all come to an agreement…

“The central bank is requiring banks to rehearse internal operations so-called business continuity plans (BCPs), for several scenarios related to virus outbreak disruptions. Banks need to ensure that mobile banking will be available in an emergency. And as for branching services, they need to ensure hygienic and sanitation systems to contain the spread.”

Mr Kobsak say, the government’s soft loan measures through the Government Savings Bank up to 150 billion baht will help boost customers’ financial liquidity.

GH Bank president Chatchai Sirilai says “the seven services are considered crucial services that banks must continue operating and the bank’s BCP comprises three parts…

  • First, splitting staff at headquarters into at least two teams and shifts to ensure available employees if one team is infected
  • Second, allowing some employees at headquarters to work from home to reduce congestion.
  • Third, the bank will move its backup facilities online in case of a lockdown of headquarters to ensure that financial services remain available

Bangkok Bank executive chairman Deja Tulananda says “the bank has stepped up measures under the BCP and the bank has prepared readiness for business operations.”

Moreover, the central bank is letting banks offer additional financial assistance to customers affected by the outbreak to ease their financial burden on a case-by-case basis. Banks are offering debt restructuring to both individual and commercial clients, including a ‘grace period’ of extending the period of electricity payments for specific businesses such as hotels and housing, interest rate cuts and also debt payment rescheduling. Read more about the power and water bill concessions HERE

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Business

The post-Covid-19 era: Radical changes in Bangkok’s property market

The Thaiger

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The post-Covid-19 era: Radical changes in Bangkok’s property market | The Thaiger

Property consultants CBRE have come up with their own evaluation of the current Bangkok office market, already getting pounded by regional trends and a high baht, now suffering another challenge – the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. They report that this situation will “create another split in our historical timeline – pre and post Covid-19” in Thailand.

“At present, people are talking about how a 100 year event like the Covid-19 global outbreak will affect Bangkok property,” says CBRE property consultants.

“For many years now, companies have been exploring remote work or work-from-home strategies to either minimise costs or cope with the changes of Millennial behaviour during the pre-Covid-19 period. At this time, almost every company, even those who are underprepared, is being forced to undertake this new way of working without a choice,” according to Ms. Roongrat Veeraparkkaroon, Head of Advisory & Transaction Services, CBRE Thailand.

Companies are experimenting a work-from-home policy and perceive an opportunity that it could work when applied to certain business functions and set the right balance between empowering and monitoring teams. This could mean that the future workplace will have a combination of agile workplaces which could be a permanent office as well as work-from-home, and co-working space.

The outbreak is acting as a catalyst that will give a company a clear view whether its remote working policy, which it has been considering, works. Once businesses realise what platform or infrastructure they are missing to support remote work, tech services companies will be one of the first beneficiaries after the storm has passed.

“Many organisations will be looking for satellite offices and cloud-based platforms as a Business Continuity Plan to ensure their businesses will not go dark if their headquarters could not be accessed. Co-working space will be one of the best choices in this case as the company can rent space on demand only when needed. However, in the post-Covid-19 world, co-working space operators will need solid measures to satisfy users that their space are safe and well-prepared.”

CBRE found that while some hotels in Bangkok have decided to shut down during the lockdown period as occupancy rates were in a single-digit level, some organisations have been renting meeting or conference rooms within hotels for weeks to be their backup meeting space when needed.

“Agile workplace has been a hot topic in the pre-Covid-19 world, where collaboration and engagement are encouraged. Initially, agile workplace might sound like a high-risk option for companies at this time; however, as the name suggests, agile workplace or Activity Based Work areas can be easily reconfigured to support social distancing strategies and split teams within offices. Paperless office makes this transition even more seamless.”

In a bigger picture, CBRE Research witnesses many office developments in Bangkok will be delayed as construction activities are halted or postponed as developers take a more defensive stance to assess the situation on a daily basis.

It is also possible that development plans will be revised to make projects more appealing in the Post-Covid-19 era with better property management system, air filtration (as PM2.5 still lingers in the Bangkok skyline) or a well-thought-out BCP to support the tenants.

“Agile and adaptive will be key words in the post-Covid-19 office market, not only to increase efficiency of a workplace but to prepare a business for any unforeseen changes that could occur in the future.”

The post-Covid-19 era: Radical changes in Bangkok's property market | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Ms. Roongrat Veeraparkkaroon, Head of Advisory & Transaction Services, CBRE Thailand – CBRE

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand’s food delivery services are booming

The Thaiger

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Thailand’s food delivery services are booming | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.techoffside.com

Whilst most businesses have been turned upside down by the disruptions caused by the Thai government’s reaction to Covid-19, along with enforced closures, at least one business is booming at this crazy time. With restaurants closed to sit-down customers, the delivery services are providing a valuable service getting food to customers stranded at home whilst applying social distancing for the safety of their drivers and hungry customers.

Food delivery services are among the few local businesses that will not only survive but thrive throughout the outbreak in Thailand. Last year Kasikorn Bank Research reported that Thailand’s food delivery business in 2019 was worth 33-35 billion baht, up 14% from the previous year. You can bet it’s growing even faster now, some reporting rises of up to 100% in the past few months.

A ban came into affect on March 26 preventing people going out and sitting down for meals at restaurants. But restaurants have been able to provide take-away services and many either have their own delivery services or use the network of delivery apps like Food Panda or Grab Food to provide ordering and delivery services.

Thailand's food delivery services are booming | News by The Thaiger

A 43 year old Grab Food driver says that he’s been doing up to 15 deliveries over a 2 hour period. He’s been doing deliveries for about a year. He noted that the demand for deliveries has surged during the recent disruption. He works mostly around Bangkok’s Pattanakarn area.

“Of course, I’m scared of catching Covid-19, but I have to make a living, so there is no choice left for me. I just wash my hands many times a day and try not to get too close to other people,” he told Bangkok Post.

35 year old Jakkrit Kamwan also works for GrabFood…

“The number of orders has doubled since the government invoked the emergency decree. I don’t think I am at high risk of contracting it because I don’t touch or talk to people when running orders.”

Last week GrabFood introduced the “contactless delivery” to ensure the hygiene and health of customers during the Covid-19 crisis. Tarin Thaniyavarn of Grab Thailand says, “Grab has been closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation and is prepared to execute any necessary measures to promote safety standards for everyone involved.”

GrabFood and its restaurant providers use these safety guidelines…

  • Drivers will be wearing face masks as they follow customers’ directions via an in-app chat as to where to deliver their order.
  • Safety guidelines in food preparation and packaging.
  • Customers are advised to make payments via GrabPay to reduce the transmission risk.

29 year old Pongsatorn Chuaychart, who works for LINE MAN, said its no-contact policy helps to encourage customers who might be reluctant to use a food delivery service for fear of being infected.

“Even more, it make those carrying out the deliveries feel protected. But I’m also taking my own precautions. I plan to keep delivering as long as orders keep coming in. People still have to eat.”

Others industries that are thriving though this really difficult time are the medical industry, medical supplies, hygiene sanitary services and supplies, life and health insurance policies, food packages and digital technology. People are also spending a lot of time online searching for accurate news and information.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

BOT responds to temporary breakdowns for online payments

Anukul

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BOT responds to temporary breakdowns for online payments | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Ananda

The new online payment systems, put in place to provide payments related to government stimulus packages, have suffered from temporary breakdowns in the past few days. Today users also reported problems with the Bangkok Bank’s online payment system and ATMs machines going offline.

More users are also reporting problems with the governments’ website providing financial support for informal workers during the outbreak.

Siritida Panomwon na Ayudhya, the Bank of Thailand assistant governor of payment systems policy and financial technology says the BoT is closely monitoring the situation in order to solve any problems as soon as possible.

“The server has been crashing and temporary break downs of the website (www.เราไม่ทิ้งกัน.com) in the past few days.”

“The BoT has asked banks and other financial institutions to monitor any glitches on their online transaction systems and solve them quickly. The institutions have been urged to ensure that the problems are solved within 24 hours.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thailand Covid-19 Stats

  • Total Cases: 2258
  • Active Cases: 1407
  • Recovered: 824
  • Deaths: 27
  • Last Updated: 2020-04-08 at 05:15
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