What's new in business news: May 6, 2014 | Bangkok Post: learning

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What's new in business news: May 6, 2014

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AIS vows to 'fight to the end' to win 4G licences, celebrities boycott Brunei-owned luxury hotels over Sharia law & plunge in capital goods & gold imports. 

Bangkok's container port Laem Chabang, a major entry point for goods imported into Thailand. Thailand experienced a major decline in the import of capital goods such as machinery used in factories during the first three months of the year (first quarter).

TELECOMMUNICATIONS 

AIS vows to ‘fight to the end’ to win 4G licences 

AIS needs to win 4G licences in order to alleviate its existing chronic data traffic problems and further increase lucrative data revenue. AIS currently provides 2G mobile services under a concession with TOT, which is due to expire in September 2015. AIS has 41 million subscribers, only 17 million of whom are 3G customers. The company's existing available 3G bandwidth capacity can only serve its 3G customer base and is not enough to provide full commercial 4G service. True was the first company to launch commercial 4G service on a limited scale. DTAC's 4G commercial launch is planned for next month.

AIS is facing two inconvenient facts: the company will become the mobile operator having the least amount of bandwidth next year when its concession expires in September, and the company has the smallest number of teenage customers among mobile operators. In comparison, second-ranked DTAC boasts the highest bandwidth. TrueMove is ranked third. AIS has said it will "fight to the end" to win 4G licences in the auction of licences on the 1800-MHz spectrum and 900-MHz spectrum. The National and Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) plans to hold auctions in August and November.

Read full story here 

BOYCOTTS 

Celebrities boycott Brunei-owned luxury hotels over Sharia law

AFP News agency & Agencies

Hollywood and numerous high-profile celebrities (including Jay Leno, Richard Branson, actor Stephen Fry, TV host Sharon Osbourne and comedian Ellen DeGeneres) are responding to harsh new laws in Brunei by boycotting luxury hotel chains owned by the Sultan of Brunei, including the famous Beverly Hills Hotel and the Dorchester Collection, reportedly owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, a sovereign wealth fund under the oil-rich sultanate' s Ministry of Finance. The Motion Picture & Television Fund says it won’t hold its annual Night Before the Oscar party at the Beverly Hills Hotel, as it has for many years. 

The celebrities are protesting the country’s new penal code that calls for punishing adultery, abortions and same-sex relationships with tough penalties such as whipping (or "flogging") and death by stoning. Brunei's all-powerful Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah announced last Wednesday that he would push ahead with the sharia law. The sultan's move has led to rare domestic criticism of the ruler on the Muslim-majority country's active social media as well as international condemnation including from the UN's human rights office.

Read full story here 

ECONOMICS  

Plunge in capital goods & gold imports

A large trade surplus, the return of service account and foreign investment income, and net transfers drove the current account surplus to US$8.23 billion (266 billion baht) in the first quarter of the year (January-to-March). Last year in 2013, Thailand’s current account balance showed a deficit for the second straight year at $2.8 billion, widening from $1.5 billion the previous year.

A current account surplus means that a country is a net lender to the rest of the world and that the nation’s net assets have increased by the amount of the surplus. The trade surplus could reflect a sharp contraction in imports as exports fell at a slower pace. Some economists have claimed that the current account surplus indicates weakening economic activity as imports of capital goods, raw materials and intermediate goods, used in the production of goods for final sale, dipped.

Declining imports of both capital goods and gold bullion were the main causes of import contraction in the first three months of the year. In total, import growth in 2014’s first quarter sank by 14.8% year-on-year, compared with a 7.6% shrinkage in last year’s final quarter.  The substantial reduction in capital goods imports was in line with a slackening of private investment as new projects were delayed, while most private investment focused on machinery repair. Gold bullion imports dropped sharply in the first quarter compared with last year’s historic figure of $11.6 billion in the first half, when the economy was healthier and gold savings more robust. A resumption of the service account surplus was another factor contributing to the current account surplus, spurred by the recent reduction of foreign investor remittances of profits and dividends — a reflection of weakening Thai economic conditions in the second half of 2013. 

Read full story surpluses" >here 

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Vocabulary:

abortion: a medical operation in which a developing baby is removed from a woman’s body so that it is not born alive - การทำแท้ง

activity: a thing that you do for interest or pleasure, or in order to achieve a particular aim - กิจกรรม

adultery: sex that takes place between a married person and someone who is not their husband or wife - การคบชู้, การมีชู้

alleviate: to make something less painful, severe, or serious - ทำให้บรรเทา ทำให้น้อยลง

announce: to tell people something officially, especially about a decision, plans, etc - ประกาศ, แจ้ง, แจ้งให้ทราบ

annual: happening every year - ทุกๆปีด, ประจำปี

asset: a thing of value - สิ่งที่มีคุณค่า

available: that you can get, use, find or buy - มีอยู่, หาได้

balance: the amount left over after costs have been subtracted -

bandwidth: the amount of information that can be sent during a period of time over a network or the internet; the capacity of a communications channel - ความกว้างแถบความถี่, แบนด์วิชท์

base: a group of people on which someone's power depends -

boast: to have something that is impressive and that you can be proud of -

boycott: a refusal to take part in an activity or to buy a product as a way of expressing strong disapproval - การคว่ำบาตร

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

capacity: the total amount or number that can be handled or contained - ปริมาณสูงสุดที่จะรับได้

capital: a large amount of money that is invested or is used - ทุน, เงินทุน

celebrity: someone who is famous, especially in the entertainment business - คนมีชื่อเสียง

chain: a group of businesses (restaurants, hotels, etc.) owned by the same company - บริษัทต่างๆที่อยู่ในเครือเดียวกัน

chronic: (of a disease or pain) serious and lasting for a long time - เป็นประจำ

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

comedian: a person whose job is to make people laugh by telling jokes and funny stories or by copying the behaviour or speech of famous people - นักแสดงตลก

commercial: for business purposes - เกี่ยวกับการค้า

comparison: the process of comparing two or more people or things - การเปรียบเทียบ

concession: a right that is given to a person or group to do a particular activity - สัมปทาน

condemnation: a public statement in which someone criticises someone or something severely - การประนามหยามเหยียด

conditions: the circumstances or situation in which people live, work or do things - เหตุการณ์, สภาพการ, สถานการณ์

container: a large metal or wooden box of a standard size in which goods are packed so that they can easily be lifted onto a ship, train, etc. to be transported - ตู้บรรจุสินค้า

contraction: when something becomes smaller or shorter - การหดตัว

contribute to: to help to cause an event or situation - ช่วยก่อให้เกิด

criticism: comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad - การวิจารณ์

current account: the difference between exports and imports coming into the country, also includes investment income with export income - บัญชีเดินสะพัด; บัญชีการชำระเงินระหว่างประเทศ ประกอบด้วย 2 ส่วน ส่วนแรก คือ ส่วนที่เป็นสินค้าได้แก่ สินค้าออก และสินค้าเข้า ส่วนที่สองคือส่วนที่เป็นการบริการ อันได้แก่ รายการต่างๆ ทางด้านการค้าบริการ เช่น การท่องเที่ยว การธนาคาร การประกันภัย การขนส่ง เป็นต้น บัญชีเดินสะพัดเป็นส่วนสำคัญของบัญชีดุลการชำระเงิน

currently: at this time; now - ในปัจจุบัน

data: the use of a mobile phone or device for "data" to view web pages or content or to send photos or video -

decline: becoming less - การลดลง

deficit: the amount by which something is too small or smaller or less than something else - จำนวนที่น้อยกว่า, จำนวนที่ขาด

delayed: happening at a later time than expected - เกิดขึ้นช้ากว่าปกติ

dip: going downwards or to a lower level - การตกลง, การลดลง

dividend: a share of the profits of a company, paid once or twice a year to the people who own the company’s shares - เงินปันผล

domestic: inside the country being talked about - ภายในประเทศ

drive: cause -

due to: scheduled to - มีกำหนด

economist: a person who studies or writes about economics - นักเศรษฐศาสตร์

entry: the place where you come into a place; an act of going into or getting into a place - ทางเข้า, การเข้า

existing: used now - ที่มีอยู่

experience: to have something happen to you or to live through some event - ประสบ

expire: to come to an end or stop being in use - หมดอายุ

export: something sold and transported to another country - สินค้าออก

fact: something that is true - ความเป็นจริง

factor: a fact or situation which influences the result of something - ปัจจัย

figure: an amount of money - จำนวนเงิน

focus: to give attention, effort, etc. to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another - เพ่งความสนใจ

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

harsh: cruel, severe and unkind - กระด้าง, รุนแรง, ห้าว, เกรี้ยวกราด

high-profile: receiving a lot of attention from the public - ที่มีชื่อ ที่ได้รับความสนใจจากสาธารณชน

historic: of historical importance - ที่สำคัญในประวัติศาสตร์

human rights: the basic rights which it is generally considered all people should have, such as justice and the freedom to say what you think - สิทธิมนุษยชน

import: to buy or bring in products from another country - นำเข้า

in line with: following a rule or system; also in accordance with and consistent with - สอดคล้องกับ

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

inconvenient: causing difficulties or extra effort - ซึ่งไม่สะดวก

indicate: to express or explain something - ชี้ชัด, ระบุชัด, ชี้บอก

international: connected with or involving two or more countries - นานาชาติ, สากล, ระหว่างประเทศ

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

launch: to start a new public service - เริ่มโครงการ, เริ่มต้น

lender: someone or something that lends (allows to be borrowed) money, especially a large financial organization such as a bank - ผู้ให้ยืม,ผู้ให้กู้

licence: an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something - ใบอนุญาต

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

lucrative: earning a lot of money - ที่มีกำไรงาม

luxury: the best and most expensive of something - ที่หรูหรา 

machinery: a piece of equipment or device that does something and gets its energy from electricity or gas - เครื่องจักร, เครื่องกล

major: very large or important - สำคัญมาก

majority: more than 50 percent of a group - เสียงส่วนใหญ่

mobile (technology): of devices, especially telecommunication devices, that can easily be moved around, e.g., mobile phones, tablets, notebook computers - อุปกรณ์ซึ่งเคลื่อนที่ได้ง่าย

move: action -

net: the amount that remains after everything has been subtracted (or taken away) -

numerous: many - มากมาย

operator: a person or company that runs a business - ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ

pace: the speed at which something happens or is done - อัตรา

Penal Code: Criminal Code; the systems of laws dealing with crimes and their punishment - ประมวลกฎหมายอาญา

penalty: a punishment, or the usual punishment, for doing something that is against a law - โทษ

plunge: to fall quickly from a high position - ดิ่งลงมาจากท้องฟ้า

port: an area of water where ships stop, including the buildings around it - ท่าเรือ

powerful: being able to control and influence people and events - ที่มีอิทธิพล

previous: happening or existing before the event or object that you are talking about - แต่ก่อน, เมื่อก่อน

private: involving groups, businesses or industries that are not owned or controlled by the government - เอกชน

production: the process of making goods or materials, especially large quantities - การผลิต

profit: money that you make from selling goods and services after all your costs have been paid - กำไร

project: a planned piece of work that is designed to find information about something, to produce something new, or to improve something - โครงการ

push ahead with: do something with force that is difficult or that people are opposing -

quarter: three months of the year on the official calendar of the government or companies -

rank: to put someone or something into a position according to their success, importance, size etc - จัดลำดับ

rare: not happening very often - หาได้ยาก

raw material: a basic material that is used to make a product - วัตถุดิบ

recent: happening or starting a short time ago - เร็วๆ นี้

reduction: the process or result of making something smaller or less in amount, size, importance etc - การลดลง

reflect: to show - สะท้อน แสดงถึง

reflection: something that clearly shows something - การสะท้อน

remmitance: money sent back to a person or company's home country - การส่งเงิน (สำหรับค่าใช้จ่าย), เงินที่ส่งไป (สำหรับค่าใช้จ่าย)

repair: to fix something that is broken or damaged - ซ่อมบำรุง

reportedly: as reported (often used for showing that you are not certain that something you are reporting is true) - ตามที่รายงาน

respond: to say or do something as a reaction to something that has been said or done - ตอบสนอง, ตอบรับ

resumption: the act of beginning something again after it has stopped - การเริ่มต้นใหม่

robust: strong and full of determination - แข็งแรง

same-sex relationships: gay or lesbian relationships; man-man or woman-woman relationships -

scale: the size or extent of something, especially when compared with something else - ขนาด, ระดับ

sharp: sudden and rapid, especially of a change in something - ฉับพลัน, กะทันหัน

sharply: suddenly and by a large amount - อย่างเร็ว

shrinkage: becoming smaller, growing smaller or to make something smaller - หดตัว, เล็กลง

sink (past form: sank): to (cause something or someone to) go down below the surface or to the bottom of a liquid or soft substance - จม

slacken: to grow weak, with less activity or effort -

social media: the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์

sovereign wealth fund (SWF): "a state-owned investment fund composed of financial assets such as stocks, bonds, property, precious metals, or other financial instruments. Sovereign wealth funds invest globally. Most SWFs are funded by foreign exchange assets" (Source: Wikipedia) -

spectrum: a range of something, in this case, frequencies available to telecommunications businesses -

spur: to cause something to happen - ก่อให้เกิด 

straight: consecutive; happening one after the other, without interruption - ต่อเนื่อง

subscriber: someone who pays money to an organization in order to receive a product, use a service regularly or support the organisation - ผู้ใช้บริการ

substantial: large in size, value or importance - มากมาย, ยิ่งใหญ่, สำคัญ

sultanate: an area of land that is ruled over by a sultan - อำนาจหรืออาณาจักรของสุลต่าน

surplus: more than is needed - เหลือเกิน, ส่วนที่เกิน

teenager: a person who is between the ages of 13-19 - บุคคลที่มีอายุระหว่าง 13-19 ปี, คนรุ่นหนุ่มรุ่นสาว, วัยรุ่น

traffic: the number of cars, trucks and other vehicles traveling along a road at one time; also used for data traveling along a network - การจราจร

transfer: to officially arrange for someone else to receive money or be the owner of something - โอน

whip: to hit someone with a whip, a long thin piece of leather with a handle on the end or a long stick used for hitting people or to make horses run faster - เฆี่ยน, หวด, ตี,

widen: to become wider; to make something wider - ทำให้กว้าง, ทำให้ขยายออก, ทำให้ขยายกว้าง

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

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