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Thai stocks plummet nearly 4% in Monday SET trading

The Thaiger

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Thai stocks plummet nearly 4% in Monday SET trading | The Thaiger

The Stock Exchange of Thailand finished yesterday at 1,435.56 points, a decrease of 59.5 points, or nearly 4% – that’s compared to Friday’s close on the SET. The daily trade volume for Monday was 76.431 billion baht, with an index high of 1,474.12 and a low of 1,435.56.

Asian bourses were hammered as confidence was inhibited by rising cases of the Covid-19 outbreak outside of China, with risk-averse sentiment sending gold prices to a seven-year high.

Krungsri Securities expected the SET Index to fall to between 1,475 and 1,480 points due to investors remaining at risk after the virus situation worsened and South Korea began tackling the situation at the highest level, according to The Nation.

The top ten stocks with the highest trade value today were CRC, Gulf, AOT, PTT, CPAll, BAM, KBANK, SCB, PTTEP, and Advanc.

Elsewhere in Asia, China’s Shanghai SE Composite Index closed at 3,031.23, down 8.44 points, or 0.3%, while the Shenzhen SE Component Index ended the day at 11,772.38, up 142.68 points, or 1.23%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed at 26,820.88, down 487.93 points, or 1.8%. South Korea’s Kospi ended at 2,079.04, down 83.80 points, or nearly 4%. Taiwan’s TaiEx closed at 11,534.87, down 151.48 points, or 1.3%. Japan’s Nikkei Index was closed yesterday.

Meanwhile, in better economic news, exports for January 2020 unexpectedly rose according to ministry figures. It’s the first rise in six months, and an increase of 3.35% from the exports 12 months earlier.

The customs-cleared export numbers were boosted by higher shipments of gold and oil-related products, accord to an update from the commerce ministry. Reuters economic writers had earlier forecast a fall of 3% in shipments for the first month for the year, against December’s drop of 1.28%. January’s export figures are not affected by the outbreak of a coronavirus..

SOURCE: The Nation

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai industry representatives push government on vaccine passport policy

Maya Taylor

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Thai industry representatives push government on vaccine passport policy | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Lukas on Unsplash

Industry representatives are urging the Thai government to press ahead with the adoption of a vaccine passport scheme to re-ignite international tourism. The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking is also pushing for Thailand to form travel bubble arrangements with countries where Covid-19 infection rates are low to moderate.

Kalin Sarasin from the Thai Chamber of Commerce and a JSCCIB member points to the Digital Green Pass being introduced by the EU, which allows vaccinated people to travel more freely. He believes Thailand should introduce something similar.

“JSCCIB is confident a vaccine passport would boost economic sentiment. Many countries have already started mass vaccination regimes for their people.”

(Video below about the current world and Thailand Covid travel situation)

He adds that private companies should be allowed to purchase and distribute vaccines to employees in order to accelerate the national vaccine rollout.

The push for a vaccine passport scheme follows confirmation from the Thai PM that he has ordered a study into the idea. However, Prayut Chan-o-cha points out that nobody knows how effective such a scheme would be. The idea does have its critics, particularly among rights’ groups and doctors, who say there is not yet enough data to show that vaccines prevent transmission.

A limited number of Covid-19 vaccines have arrived in Thailand and have been distributed to 13 priority provinces. Healthcare workers and vulnerable groups are among the first people to be inoculated.

Supant Mongkolsuthree, a JSCCIB member from the Federation of Thai Industries, says a vaccine passport policy is one more way to restore tourism and, as vaccines are rolled out in the Kingdom, the economy has a chance at recovery.

“JSCCIB believes the economy is recovering. The vaccine will gradually build up confidence among business people.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Cannabis could generate 8 billion baht for Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025, expert says

Caitlin Ashworth

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Cannabis could generate 8 billion baht for Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025, expert says | The Thaiger

Cannabis could become a major cash crop in Thailand. An expert says the cannabis-based medicinal products could generate up to 8 billion baht for the Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025. Medical cannabis has been legal in Thailand for the past couple years, but recently the government agreed to allow parts of the plant with very, low traces of the “high-inducing” component tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, to be in medicinal products and food.

Cannabis-based medicines have been used as palliative treatment for some cancer patients in Thailand. Last year, nearly 1 million patients used cannabis-based medicines, according to an economist at Kasetsart University’s Agricultural and Resource Economics Department, Ravissa Suchato.

Around 1.2 billion baht worth of medical cannabis was consumed last year, according to Ravissa, who led a recent study on the economic impact of commercial cannabis cultivation in Thailand. If the average consumption rises as expected, medical cannabis could generate 8 billion baht within the next 5 years.

“We believe marijuana has great potential as a cash crop because more patients will start using marijuana-based drugs soon.”

In the past, Thai officials have discussed the opportunity to tap into the global cannabis market by exporting medical cannabis, but Ravissa says Thailand still has a way to go.

“Globally, the recreational use of marijuana has risen a lot faster than pharmaceutical use, so the prospect of exporting marijuana-based medicines from Thailand is still a long way off.”

Parts of the cannabis plant that are rich in THC, like the buds, are still illegal and classified as a Category 5 narcotic. Trafficking the plant is still heavily criminalised. Just over the past few days, border patrol police in the Northeastern province Nakhon Pathom seized hundreds of kilograms of dried, compressed cannabis believed to have been trafficked across the Mekong River from Laos and destined for the South, possibly to Malaysia.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Business

The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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