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Phuket Business – Looking forward to 2012

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Phuket Business – Looking forward to 2012 | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Walking into my local shopping center yesterday I was amazed to see Christmas decorations adorning the shops and general surroundings. A quick check of the date on my watch and I realized that although the trees, baubles and tinsel were a trifle early, it certainly was closer to the holidays than I had imagined! This gave me food for thought and with 2011 racing by at a rate of knots I have located my crystal ball and had a look ahead to 2012.

Firstly to say that 2011 has been a difficult year for the world economy and financial markets would be quite an understatement. With the well documented problems of Greece, Ireland and Portugal and perhaps the impending financial crisis within Spain, Italy and France times certainly have been turbulent. Asia however, has been a robust geographical investment area and the outlook moving forward remains positive.

So, looking forward to 2012?

We can pretty much expect Europe to remain volatile with Italian bond yields now reaching the dreaded 7% mark. Global analysts openly accept this as the level in which a potential default would be expected. Once we then add high unemployment and government cost cutting into the equation it means all roads point towards very tough times ahead.

Not everything is doom and gloom however, in Asia the story is very different, and as we bask on our Phuket beaches we can be quite assured that smoother times lay ahead than with our European counter parts.

The International Monetary Fund trimmed its economic growth forecasts for Asia on Thursday because of financial turbulence in Europe and a possible slowdown in the US However, a 6.3% growth forecast still shows that Asia is definitely the place to be. With prudent planning, it shows that investments still offer good value over the medium to longer term.

Things won’t all be plain sailing, so a totally smooth ride would be wishful thinking. As always we must consider the domino effect, what happens in one part of the world tends to affect the rest in one way or another.

As Asia (and in particular Thailand and Phuket) is a major tourism hot spot, the cost cutting being felt in Europe and the US will no doubt have implications on the revenue being brought into the country. On the plus side, we should still see a continuing flow of Australian tourists and hopefully many Europeans should feel that a holiday has been well earned this year.

What does all this mean if you have an existing portfolio?

Active management is crucial. Things will remain turbulent moving into 2012 and it is advisable to look at your existing holdings and think, does this still add value? No doubt if you are heavily invested in a geographical area such as Europe, then potentially things could be a little bit bumpy, and a focus on Asia and Latin America could be more prudent.

Professional help and advice is readily available and for savings such as pension funds and investments, be proactive to determine if these are actively managed or will exposure in areas such as Europe and the US have a major bearing on how your individual portfolio performs. To do nothing, could spell disaster.

Certain areas in Europe and the US still offer good value and should not be totally discounted whether this be in mutual funds or individual stocks. The choice is so great and vast that your head could get into a spin, so keeping things simple is a wise choice. Does any of this sound familiar? If so seek professional advice, help is on hand.

For now, I am off to go and pick my Christmas tree!

Anthony Lyman (CEFA) is a Senior Financial Consultant for Montpelier Group. Readers may contact him at Alyman@montpeliergroup.com.

— Anthony Lyman

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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

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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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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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Domestic air passenger numbers double those of January

Maya Taylor

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Domestic air passenger numbers double those of January | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Vietjet

Passenger numbers on domestic flights within Thailand have doubled within a month, rising from 4,000 in January to over 10,000 this month. Having nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels, domestic travel plummeted once more when Covid-19 resurfaced late last year.

Apirat Chaiwongnoi from the Department of Airports says 15 of Thailand’s 29 airports are now operating domestic flights, with more expected to follow. He believes the aviation sector will continue to recover further in the coming 6 months, bolstered by the national vaccine rollout.

Around 120 domestic flights a day are now operating, which is twice the number that were operating at the lowest point in the crisis. Prior to the resurgence of the virus in December, domestic passenger numbers had recovered to 30,000 – 40,000 a day, around 80% of pre-pandemic numbers.

The DoA says airports must continue to adhere to the Covid-19 hygiene measures put in place by the Health Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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