What's new in business news: July 31, 2013
Flat ad spending on flat economic growth, new twice monthly rice auction & Chula engineering professor to head State Railway.
Ad spending flat in H2
Ad spending is expected to show flat growth in the second half of this year, as the Thai economy is showing no positive signs of growth.
Many advertisers are cutting back on ad spending on the back of expected low second-half consumption.
People's purchasing power has declined in the wake of government stimulus policies such as the first-time car buyer scheme.
As well, the local economic outlook remains uncertain, with no new positive factors to shore up growth.
Nielsen Co reported first-half ad spending rose by 1.7% year-on-year.
Total spending on TV commercials will grow by 7% this year on the six free-TV channels.
Spending on cable and satellite TV is expected to increase by 35% from last year to 4 billion baht.
Companies in the fast-moving-consumer-goods sector such as Unilever and Proctor & Gamble have already cut their ad spending.
But some sectors, particularly automobiles and telecommunications, have increased their ad budgets.
The take-up rate for billboards in the first half dropped by 20%.
Twice-monthly auction of pledged rice
The Commerce Ministry’s Foreign Trade Department plans to auction a total of 400,000 tonnes of different types of rice twice a month to reduce the huge stockpile of pledged grain.
Each auction will try to sell about 200,000 tonnes.
The department on Wednesday afternoon agreed to sell 120,000 tonnes of unmilled 5% white rice to be processed into parboiled rice for export, in the wake of the lukewarm response to the 200,000 tonnes on offer.
The department did not disclose the selling price.
The government needs to sell off much of the 17 million tonnes or more of pledged rice in stock to have space to store grain bought from the next harvest, that will begin in October and continue through to next year.
The government's rice auction for 200,000 tonnes of paddy to be processed into parboiled rice for exports drew a lukewarm response, with only five filing tenders.
The lukewarm response was reportedly due to unclear conditions.
Bidders are finding it difficult since the terms of reference (ToR) do not state clearly where the paddy is located or which types will be put up for auction.
Academic tipped to chair railway board
An academic is being put forward to be the next chair of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) board, after all seven members resigned to clear the way for a shake up requested by Transport Minister Chadchat Suttipunt.
The minister said he would back Boonsom Lerdhirunwong, dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Chulalongkorn University, to be the new chairman of the board.
Mr Chadchat said the resignations were not politically motivated, but said the changes were intended to improve the efficiency of the SRT.
The SRT largely involves structural work and it needs a professional engineer to aid the agency, he added.
"The change is designed to put the right person in the right job. There is no personal conflict," the minister said.
The new board members will restructure the SRT to boost its efficiency, adjust revenue-generating schemes and develop plans to build the mass transit line and the double tracks across the country.
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