What's new in business news: February 11, 2014 | Bangkok Post: learning

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What's new in business news: February 11, 2014

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Missing rice in govt warehouses & fire at Lop Buri warehouse, Central Business District land surges in value & airports continue expansion. 

Fire at a warehouse in Lopburi where rice from the government rice-pledging scheme is stored believed to be an arson, intended to destroy evidence of degraded rice. 

AGRICULTURE 

Missing rice in govt warehouses & fire at Lop Buri rice warehouse

Last year’s sweeping inspection of warehouses nationwide during June allegedly found as much as 4.5 million tonnes of grain could have disappeared from government stocks. Rice stocks fell short by 1.5 million tonnes from the amounts recorded in accounts, while another 2.98 million tonnes that the Public Warehouse Organization (PWO) claims is already stored at warehouses but have yet to be recorded in accounts are allegedly missing. There has not been any clarification or probe into the missing rice until now. The inspection also found that there was 13 million tonnes of rice, bought under the controversial rice pledging scheme for the first harvest and the 2012-2013 main crop, left over in the state’s stockpile at the time.

The report is a fresh blow to embattled caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra after the anti-graft agency decided to investigate her role in irregularities in the government’s rice pledging scheme and pressed charges of corruption against two cabinet ministers.

A fire broke out at a rice warehouse in Lop Buri province Tuesday morning was believed to be an arson, intended to destroy evidence of degraded rice under the government's rice-pledging scheme. The warehouse was used to store rice of the 2012 crop year pledged under the scheme. Some predict more fires at warehouses where pledged rice is kept in an effort to destroy corruption evidence after farmers had vowed to raid them to examine the rice quality.

[Read full story here and warehouse" >here ]

REAL ESTATE 

Central Business District (CBD) land surges in value

Despite the current political turmoil, demand for prime central business district (CBD) land for investment remains robust.  Land investment in Bangkok's CBD has provided some of the highest investment returns, with year-on-year increases of about 15%. This has enticed wealthy families to buy land and build income-producing developments despite low initial income yields because they are attracted to capital gains driven by land values. The price for a prime site on the main Sukhumvit Road has risen by 480% since 2002 to 1.5 million baht a square wah, the highest percentage increase out of all of Bangkok's prime areas. Next is the Silom/Sathon area with an increase of 400% to 1.4 million baht a sq wah, followed by the Phloenchit/Lumpini area with a gain of 320% to 1.5 million baht a sq wah.

There is a limited supply of freehold prime land in central Bangkok. There are few willing sellers and most of the land is held by cash-rich owners who inherited family land. Land holding expenses are quite low because most land was not acquired through any debt financing. There is virtually no land holding tax and no inheritance tax. This means that the majority of land owners have very little pressure to sell. Transactions normally occur when potential sellers are sufficiently enticed with a record-breaking offer price. In recent years, land prices have been driven upwards by developers buying sites to build condominiums for sale. Condo developers have been able to outbid other property developers because of high development margins and quick project turnover.

Land prices have also increased in suburban areas where construction of new mass transit lines has triggered demand for condo development in areas such as Rattanathibet along the future Purple Line where land prices have risen by 30-50% a year since the start of construction.

[Read full story here ]

TRANSPORTATION 

Bangkok & provincial airports continue expansion plans

The Airports of Thailand will proceed with the design of Suvarnabhumi airport’s second phase at a cost of 1.3 billion baht next month. Construction will be carried out from August and when work is complete, the airport is expected to have a capacity that can accommodate up to 65 million passengers a year. Expansion of Don Meuang airport is expected to be completed by the third quarter of this year and the airport should be able to accommodate 18 million additional passengers per year. 

The number of passengers using the country's regional airports soared in the first quarter. Chiang Rai airport saw a 15% increase in passengers, compared with a previous estimate of 7%, while numbers at Chiang Mai airport increased 14.5%, up from an estimate of 13%. Meanwhile, the number of passengers at Phuket airport has exceeded its capacity. Phuket airport's new check-in terminal has already opened, able to handle eight million passengers a year, three million passengers more than it can take now. Chiang Mai airport will be able to offer a 24-hour service from next month.

The AoT projects a 10% increase in passengers this year from 86 million last year. Thailand’s political conflict has caused the number of passengers to rise only 7.35% from the previous estimate of 10% in the first quarter.

[Read full story here ]

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Vocabulary:

account: a written record of money that is owed to a business and of money that has been paid by it - บัญชี

agency: a government department that provides a particular service - หน่วยงานราชการ

allegedly: claimed to have done something wrong, but not yet proven - ที่กล่าวหา

anti: against - ตรงกันข้าม, ต้าน

arson: the illegal use of fire to destroy a house, building, or property; an arsonist is a person who commits arson - การลอบวางเพลิง  

attract: to cause someone to be interested in something - ดึงดูดความสนใจ

break out: (of something bad) to start - เริ่มต้นทันที

cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี

capital gains: profits that you make from selling something, especially company shares or property - กำไรส่วนทุน

caretaker: in charge for a short time, until a new leader or government is chosen - รักษาการ

central business district (CBD): downtown; the part of town where the offices of most businesses are located -

claim: saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา

clarification: explaining something more clearly so that it is easier to understand - การทำให้กระจ่าง, การอธิบาย

controversial: causing disagreement or disapproval - ความไม่ลงรอยกัน

crop: a plant grown for food, usually on a farm - พืชผล

current: of the present time - ปัจจุบัน

degrade: to make something become worse, especially in quality - ทำให้ด้อยค่า, ทำให้ลดคุณค่า, ทำให้ต่ำต้อย

demand: the need and desire of people to buy goods - อุปสงค์

development: the process of using an area of land, especially to make a profit by building on it, etc - การพัฒนา

disappear: to no longer exist; to no longer be in use - หายไป, สาบสูญ, สูญหาย

driven by: caused by -

embattled: experiencing a lot of problems - ที่ถูกโจมตี

entice: persuade someone to do something by offering them something pleasant - ล่อใจ

evidence: facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime - หลักฐาน

examine: to look at somebody/something closely, to see if there is anything wrong or to find the cause of a problem - ตรวจ

fall short: to not be enough -

fresh blow: something new that damages or hurts something -

graft: corruption - การฉ้อโกง

grain: the small hard seeds of food plants such as wheat, rice, etc; a single seed of such a plant - เมล็ดข้าว, เมล็ดพืช

harvest: the activity of collecting a crop, in this case a rice crop - การเก็บเกี่ยวผลผลิต

income: money that someone gets from working or from investing money - รายได้

initial: happening at the beginning of a process - ในเบื้องต้น

inspection: an official process of checking that things are in the correct condition or that people are doing what they should - การตรวจสอบตรวจตรา

inspection: the act of looking closely at something or someone and to check that everything is as it should be; examination - การตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด

intended: planned; wanted to happen - ที่ได้วางแผนไว้ ที่ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น

investigate: to try to find out the facts about something in order to learn the truth about it - ตรวจสอบหาความจริง

investment: the act of investing money in something - การลงทุน

irregularity: a situation in which the rules, laws, or usual ways of doing things have not been followed - การปฏิบัติที่ไม่เป็นไปตามระเบียบปกติ

limited: not much or enough; not very great in amount or extent - จำกัด

minister: a member of the cabinet, the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - รัฐมนตรี

missing: lost; not able to find someone/something; not in the usual place because it has been removed or lost - ซึ่งหายไป

nationwide: throughout a whole country - ทั่วทั้งประเทศ

percentage: an amount divided by 100 - อัตราร้อยละ, จำนวนร้อยละ, อัตราต่อหนึ่งร้อย

predict: to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience - คาดการณ์ว่า พยากรณ์จากสถิติว่า

press charges: to accuse someone officially of committing a crime - ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา

prime: of the best quality - ที่ดีที่สุด

probe: to investigate; to attempt to find out the truth about something; to examine - ตรวจสอบ

raid: to use force to enter a place suddenly in order to arrest people or search for something such as illegal weapons or drugs - บุกเข้าจับ, เข้าตรวจค้น

record: to make a written account of something that is kept so that it can be looked at and used in the future - บันทึก, รายงาน

record: a written account of something that is kept so that it can be looked at and used in the future - การบันทึก, รายงาน

return: the amount of profit that you get from something; the amount of money you earn - เงินรายได้

rice pledging scheme: a government programme in which a fixed price, in this case well above the market price, is offered to rice farmers for their harvested rice - การจำนำข้าว

rice-pledging scheme: a government programme in which farmers sell rice to the government at a particular price, with the right to reclaim the rice if the market price goes higher - โครงการจำนำข้าว

robust: strong and full of determination - แข็งแรง

site: a place where something is located - สถานที่

state: government - รัฐบาล

stock: an amount of something that you keep so that you can use it when you need it - ที่เก็บไว้ในสต๊อก

stock: to collect large amounts of things that may be needed - เก็บสะสมไว้ใน

stockpile: a large collection of things that may be needed - สิ่งที่เก็บสะสมไว้ คลังสินค้า

supply: an amount or quantity of something that is available to buy or use; use the amount of a good available in a market to buy - อุปทาน

surge: a sudden increase in something - การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว

sweeping: having a major effect - กว้างขวาง

turmoil: a state of uncontrolled activity - การจราจล ความไม่สงบ

vow: a serious promise - สาบาน

warehouse: a large building for storing things - โกดังสินค้า, คลังสินค้า, โรงพัสดุ

wealthy: having a large amount of money, land, and other valuable things   - ที่มั่งคั่ง ร่ำรวย

year-on-year: the amount or statistic for a period this year (month, quarter, half-year) compared to last year -

yield: the return or total amount of profits and income you get from an investment or a business - ผลตอบแทน, ผลตอบแทนจากการลงทุน

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