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Nation Multimedia Group aims to counter tech ‘disruption’

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Nation Multimedia Group aims to counter tech ‘disruption’ | The Thaiger

PHOTO: NMG group chief, Shine Bunnag

Thailand’s media giant Nation Multimedia Group say they are poised to ride the new “digital wave” to tide over the industry disruption brought about by technology, group chief Shine Bunnag said while outlining his vision.

Shine, who is chairman of NMG’s executive committee, said in an interview with Krungthep Turakij newspaper that with the disruption caused by technology, media was one of the first businesses to be severely impacted as people increasingly became consumers of online media.

“This resulted in advertising revenue moving away from traditional media, such as newspaper, radio, or even television which became a victim of intense competition due to the high number of channels and the battle for eyeballs with the digital media.”

“We will fully penetrate the potential of digital media, which will be our major cash-cow business to generate revenue for the group over the next 10 years and make up for the slide in revenue of traditional media,” he said.

Shine says that he aims to increase the revenue contribution from digital media from 15% at present to 25% in the next two years through two newly established business units – ‘Digital’ and ‘Digital Intelligent’.

Nation Multimedia Group aims to counter tech 'disruption' | News by The Thaiger

“The new Digital business unit will combine all online platforms of the group under one roof so that we can synergise our strengths. We found that today our online media have combined page views of about 10 million a day, which is one of the highest in Thailand’s media industry.”

“Our online platforms, however, plan to increase the number of page views to about 20 million a day within the first six months of establishing the new business unit, which will kick-off in September.”

Shine said that 10 million page views is the group’s database and the “new crude oil”, which is a high-value asset and the group’s community will create more value addition.

“We will follow the behaviour of these 10 million viewers in the digital world for who they are, and what their preferred interests are. Such valuable data will be used for our content production as well as ad sales, which will directly target the consumers, which are currently fragmented.”

“That is the duty of the new Digital Intelligent business unit, most of whose staff have been recruited from the technology field.”

Shine said the group’s change in direction has been necessitated by the digital game and the media disruption.

“It will be goal of the digital media to generate sustainable revenues and to promote credibility, which is the heart of the media business.”

“I want our ad buyers to be able to measure their ad campaigns banking on our media. Our media people will also work independently and not worry about the impact of their written work on revenue,” he said.

Shine said advertising revenue from the group’s television business will be flat or slow down, as younger consumers aged below 30 watch less TV and spend more time with alternative media to view their preferred content, such as re-runs of soap operas and variety programs.

“The golden age of the television business is over, similar to print media.”

SOURCE: The Nation

Business

“Government stimulus package for Thai economy is unsustainable”

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“Government stimulus package for Thai economy is unsustainable” | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Wikipedia

Anusorn Tamajai, an economist from Rangsit University, says he expects the proposed package to make little difference and has declared it unsustainable.

The package, which should be approved this week, is worth 370 billion baht and includes cash handouts for farmers and low-income earners, grants for children, incentives for domestic travelers, and tax incentives for small businesses.

It’s hoped to stimulate the economy by 3%, in the wake of domestic uncertainty and the ongoing US-China trade war. Last week, the Finance Minister said the aim of the package was to prevent growth sliding below 3% in 2019.

However, economist Anusorn Tamajai has his doubts.

“Short-term spending as part of populist policies will not help much, as the Thai economy is monopolised by big business.”

He adds that most spending by low-income groups will end up as revenue for large businesses. However, he agrees with the plan to reduce the tax burden for small and medium-sized enterprises, which could lead to more private investment.

The government plans to offer generous tax reductions for those who import machinery to upgrade their production with a five-year depreciation allowance. The state-run Government Savings Bank and Krung Thai Bank will also provide combined soft loans worth about 100 billion baht.

The government also plans to direct a number of other state-run banks to provide soft loans to farmers and lower income groups, which Anusorn warns may not be sustainable as its effectiveness relies on public confidence in the future.

Thai governments often resort to state-run bank lending, quasi-fiscal measures that usually increase the burden for banks but translate into a burden for tax payers later.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Bank of Thailand relaxes Loan to Value to boost sluggish property market

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Bank of Thailand relaxes Loan to Value to boost sluggish property market | The Thaiger

PHOTO: booking.com

The Bank of Thailand says it will relax the Loan to Value (LTV) for homebuyers purchasing residences together and that borrowers or co-borrowers applying for a loan under the first home buyers rule and who do not own any other residence would be given a 90% mortgage on a condominium and 95% for a single detached house and townhouse.

The “co-borrower” is defined as a borrower supporting the family in its bid to obtain a mortgage to buy a residence but who will not become the owner of that residence.

Issara Boonyoung, CEO of Kanda Group, chairman of Business Housing Association, says he’s in favour of relaxing the LTV.

“We believe that the relaxation of the LTV in relation to co-borrowers will see the property market improve by up to two per cent for the rest of this year. This market represents about 20% of the total property market value, which is expected to be worth about 760 billion baht this year.”

He added that the relaxing of the rule will open the opportunity for co-borrowers to make a down payment of about 10% for condominium and 5% for single detached house and townhouse under the LTV first home concept.

The transfer of residences on hold this year has continued to drop and currently stands at 7%, which is better than the early estimates of 10%.

The LTV, which became effective on April 1, 2019, resulted in a drop in the property market in the second quarter of this year, as most homebuyers sped up the transfers of their residential projects and completed them in the first quarter. This had a direct impact on the financial results of property firms, with most announcing a double-digit drop in the second quarter.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thai GM’s diesel plant in Rayong builds 500,000th engine

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Thai GM’s diesel plant in Rayong builds 500,000th engine | The Thaiger

GM Powertrain Thailand has produced its 500,000th four-cylinder Duramax turbo-diesel engine, a production milestone since production officially started in 2011.

GM announced that the Rayong plant is the first GM facility in the world to produce the engine.

Hector Villarreal, president of GM Southeast Asia says the Duramax engines serve as the heart of the company’s ‘Colorado’ and ‘Trailblazer’ models.

“They are one of the most important components that we manufacture in Rayong for both domestic and export markets. Reaching half a million engines is not only an important milestone for the GPS team but also for everyone at GM Thailand. You should all be rightly proud of achieving this together.”

Amnat Saengjan, vice pesident of manufacturing for GM Thailand, added that the it is the only GM facility that fully manufactures the 2.8L Duramax diesel engine.

“I am very proud of our team members who have taken a key role in helping us achieve this milestone, thanks not only to every team member’s hard work and dedication, but also to the growing popularity of the products that use the Duramax engine, the Chevrolet Colorado and Trailblazer. It shows how far we have come.

He said GM Thailand’s Rayong facility was recognised for its efforts in environmental conservation at the Prime Minister’s Industry Awards of 2018. It was one of two automotive companies that received this award. The facility is part of GM’s 142 manufacturing and non-manufacturing landfill-free facilities globally.

SOURCE: The Nation

Thai GM’s diesel plant in Rayong builds 500,000th engine | News by The Thaiger

Chevrolet ‘Colorado’, which carries the Thai-built engine

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