What's new in business news: February 12, 2014 | Bangkok Post: learning

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What's new in business news: February 12, 2014

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Underwater weddings attract tourists in Trang, gold rises to two-month high & debate on how to help rice farmers. 

The bride kisses the bridegroom in an underwater wedding in Trang.

TOURISM

Underwater weddings attract tourists in Trang 

Underwater wedding ceremony in Trang.

Thirty-two couples, including five foreigners, tied the knot at 15 metres deep under the ocean near Koh Kradan in Trang province, on Tuesday. The foreign couples were from France, England, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China. Governor Somsak Parisuttho and Salil Totabtiang, chairman of the Trang Chamber of Commerce, escorted the couples to the annual underwater wedding on Tuesday. The 18th Trang underwater wedding ceremony runs until Feb 12. Bridal packages cost 35,000 to 40,000 baht each.

[Read full story here ]

GOLD 

Gold rises to two-month high

Bloomberg News agency

Underwater wedding ceremony in Trang.

Gold rose to the highest level since November in the best run since August as a weakened dollar spurred demand for gold as an alternative investment asset and the buying of physical gold, such as gold bullion, increased. Gold bullion capped a 1.8% weekly advance on Feb 7 on bad US jobs growth data that missed estimates.

Gold slumped by the most since 1981 last year as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value but bullion rebounded this year as global equities and emerging markets weakened and lower gold prices spurred demand for purchases of gold to hold as a physical asset (such as bullion). Volumes for Shanghai’s benchmark spot contract surged to a nine-month high yesterday.

In London, gold for immediate delivery rose 0.8% to $1,285.17 an ounce and it reached as high as $1,287.81, the highest since Nov 18 and gold is up for a fifth day in the best run since Aug 28.  In Thailand, the selling price rose by 100 baht to 19,900 baht per one baht weight yesterday while the buying price was 19,800 baht.

[Read full story here ]

AGRICULTURE 

Debate on how to help rice farmers

Underwater wedding ceremony in Trang.

The caretaker government should find alternative ways of helping rice farmers to minimise the impact of payment delays under the rice pledging scheme, says the World bank.  Delays in paying farmers 120 billion baht for rice - or about 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) - have stripped farmers of their income and resulted in a spending and consumption slowdown in the agricultural sector. If rice farmers are paid what they are owed, that would boost domestic consumption and help spur economic growth.

A senior economist at the World Bank said the rice scheme has done well to raise the income of farmers, but has led to total damages of 400 billion baht, or 2% of GDP, over the past two harvest seasons. This is because the government failed to release rice in stockpiles, preventing it from making payments on time and forcing it to seek additional loans to finance the scheme. The management of the rice scheme must be improved to prevent it from affecting the country’s fiscal status. 

The state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) might raise funds by issuing securities backed by rice stocks to pay farmers but the quality and volume of rice stored in warehouses may be a concern in such a scenario. The Commerce Ministry has not been transparent about the stockpile volume, and rice can rot in a few years if conditions are poor. A source at the Finance Ministry recently said last year's sweeping inspection found some 4.5 million tonnes of rice could have disappeared from government stocks. The safest options may be either to sell the rice in big lots to unlock liquidity quickly to pay farmers or having the caretaker government resign to allow a new government to start borrowing but bulk sales under unfavourable market conditions such as more than 100 million tonnes of rice sitting in global stocks could drop the selling price significantly, say experts

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Vocabulary:

advance: increase, rise, for example: the baht advanced -

agricultural: of the science or practice of farming - ที่เกี่ยวกับเกษตรกรรม

alternative: something that is different from something else, especially from what is usual, and offering the possibility of choice - ทางเลือก

annual: happening every year - ทุกๆปีด, ประจำปี

asset: something owned by a person, company etc., particularly money and property - ทรัพย์สิน

benchmark: a standard that other things can be compared to, for example, to calculate prices - ตัวเปรียบเทียบ; การวัดเปรียบเทียบสมรรถนะเกณฑ์มาตรฐานหมายถึง การทดสอบเพื่อวัดความสามารถในการประมวลผล หรือการทำงานของ โปรแกรมใดโปรแกรมหนึ่ง หรืออุปกรณ์คอมพิวเตอร์ชนิดใดชนิดหนึ่ง โดยเทียบเคียงกับเกณฑ์มาตรฐาน

boost: to increase - เพิ่ม

borrowing: taking money from a bank, financial organisation, person, etc. and paying it back over a period of time - การยืม

bridal: connected with a bride or a wedding - เกี่ยวกับเจ้าสาว

bride: the woman at a wedding who is getting married - เจ้าสาว

bridegroom: the man at a wedding who is getting married -

bulk: done in large numbers or amounts - จำนวนมาก

bullion: gold or silver in the form of metal bars - ทองแท่ง, เงินแท่ง, แท่งเงินหรือทองจำนวนมาก

cap off: to finish a series of events -

caretaker government: a temporary government that is in charge of a country until a new government is elected - รัฐบาลชั่วคราวที่ตั้งขึ้นเพื่อรอการเลือกตั้งครั้งใหม่

ceremony: a formal public event - งานพิธี

chairman: the person in charge of a committee, a company, etc - ประธาน

chamber of commerce: a group of local business people who work together to help business and trade in a particular town - หอการค้า

concern: a worry - ความกังวล

condition: the physical state of a person, animal, thing or place - สภาพ

consumption: the act of using energy, food or materials; the amount used - การบริโภคพลังงาน, การใช้หมดไป

contract: to make an official written agreement with someone to do something - ทำสัญญา

couple: two people who are married or are involved in a romantic relationship - คุ่รัก

data: facts or information used for making calculations or decisions - ข้อมูล

debate: a discussion in which people or groups state different opinions about a subject - การอภิปราย, การโต้วาที, การถกเถียง

delay: causing to happen at a later time; happening at a later time than expected - การเลื่อน, ช้ากว่าปกติ

delivery: the act of taking goods, letters, etc. to the people they have been sent to - การส่ง, การส่งสินค้า

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

disappear: to move something or someone somewhere where they can no longer be seen - หายไป, สาบสูญ, สูญหาย

domestic: inside the country being talked about - ภายในประเทศ

emerging market: countries that have fast economic growth and growing rich quickly but are still developing - กลุ่มตลาดเกิดใหม่

equity: stock shares - หุ้นทุน

escort: to go with someone - คุ้ม

estimate: to say what you think an amount or value is or will be, either by using available information or by guessing - คาดคะเน

expert: someone who has a particular skill or who knows a lot about a particular subject - ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ

global: throughout the world - ทั่วโลก

governor: a person who is chosen to be in charge of the government of a state or province - ผู้ว่าการรัฐ, ผู้ว่าราชการจังหวัด

gross domestic product: the total value of all goods and services produced in a country in a year, except for income received from money invested in other countries. It is often simply called GDP - ผลิตภัณฑ์มวลรวมภายในประเทศ

growth: economic growth, an increase in economic activity - การเติบโต

immediate: happening or done now, without any delay - ทันทีทันใด

impact: an effect or influence - ผลกระทบ

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

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

investment: the act of investing money in something - การลงทุน

investor: a person or organization that invests money, i.e., uses money with the aim of making a profit from it, for example by buying property or buying shares in a company - นักลงทุน

liquidity: a situation in which an organisation, company, business, etc. has the money it needs to pay its bills - สภาพคล่อง

lock: used to close a door, drawer or other place so that other people cannot enter - กุญแจ

lose faith: to no longer believe in or trust someone or something - ไม่ไว้วางใจใน, ขาดศรัทธาต่อ

lot: a group or set of things or people - ชุด,รุ่น

metal: a type of solid mineral substance that is usually hard and shiny and that heat and electricity can travel through, for example tin, iron and gold - โลหะ

minimise: to reduce something harmful or unpleasant to the smallest amount or degree - ลดจำนวนลง

miss target: to not achieve or reach the goal or target you wanted to achieve - พลาดเป้า

option: choice - ตัวเลือก

package: many goods or services sold together in one "package" -

physical object: a thing that can be seen and touched, but is not alive - วัตถุ, สิ่งของ

province: on of many divisions of the government of a country into smaller parts - จังหวัด

purchase: the process of buying something - การซื้อ

rebound: to rise again after falling, recover - กระโดดขึ้นอีกครั้งหนึ่ง,สะท้อนกลับ,เด้งกลับ

resign: to leave a job permanently - ลาออกจากตำแหน่ง

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

rot: to spoil; to decay - เน่า

run: a period of something good or bad happening; a series of successes or failures - ช่วงเวลา

scenario: a description of possible actions or events in the future - การสมมติสภาพที่เลวร้ายที่เป็นไปได้

sector: a part of a country’s economic or business activity - ภาค (เศรษฐกิจ)

security: protection; safety from attack, harm, or damage - ความมั่นคง, ระบบรักษาความปลอดภั, ความปลอดภัย

significantly: in an important way - อย่างมีความหมาย, อย่างสำคัญ

slowdown: when the economy moves more slowly and worker incomes and company profits suffer and increase more slowly -

slump: to fall suddenly - ตกต่ำมาก

spot: connected with a system of trading where goods are delivered and paid for immediately after sale (the opposite is "futures markets" -

spur: to cause something to happen - ก่อให้เกิด 

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

stock: a share that somebody has bought in a company or business - หุ้น, หุ้นทุน

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

store: to put and keep things in a special place for use in the future - เก็บ

strip: to take away from - ปล้นเอาไป ริบเอาไป 

surge: a sudden increase in something - การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว

sweeping: having a major effect - กว้างขวาง

transparent: not keeping anything secret; open - โปร่งใส

unfavourable: not good and likely to cause problems or make something more difficult; showing that you do not approve of or like somebody/something - ซึ่งไม่น่าพอใจ, ซึ่งไม่เป็นผล

unlock: to free up something so it can be used -

value: how much something is worth in money or other goods for which it can be exchanged - มูลค่า

volume: an amount of something - ปริมาณ

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

wedding service (ceremony): a wedding ceremony, usually religious, in which two people are officially married - พิธีแต่งงาน

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