What's new in business news: May 12, 2015 | Bangkok Post: learning

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What's new in business news: May 12, 2015

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Small Phuket hotels up for sale in tough hotel market, cable TV switches to high-speed internet as customers lost to digital & satellite TV & state pawn shops get liquidity injection for new school year.

Foreign tourists relax on the beach in Phuket. (Photo by Achataya Chuenrinan)

HOTELS

Many small Phuket hotels up for sale in tough hotel market

Many small hotels in Phuket that are having financial difficulties will likely be sold in 2016. A survey found at least 20 hotel owners with a combined 1,000 rooms in Phuket had expressed interest in selling their properties, mostly small hotels. Phuket now has 90,000 hotel rooms, an increase of 40,000 or 80% from 2010. Of the new supply, 30,000 rooms are in small hotels, most of which are not officially registered as hotels. Research shows an additional 4,727 rooms will become available in Phuket between now and 2018. 

Phuket tourist arrivals are expected to reach only 10 million this year for revenue of 160 billion baht, down from 12 million visitors and 200 billion in revenue last year. The negative tourism situation in Phuket began in 2013 due to domestic political problems and the global economic slowdown. Many hotels had to freeze their room rates to survive among fierce competition. Worsening the situation even further was a decline in the number of Russian tourists, the province's second-biggest market, a hotel oversupply in some locations in Phuket and competition from other tourist destinations near Phuket such as Krabi and Phangnga.

Amid these tough circumstances, a price war has sprung up among Phuket hotels. Some small hotels charge only 500 baht a night just to generate enough revenue to pay loan interest. Some small hotels that have no strong financial back-up plan are struggling and expected to end up being sold.

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BROADCASTING

Cable TV switches to high-speed internet as customers lost to digital & satellite TV

Local cable TV operators have begun launching high-speed internet services in an effort to offset falling revenue from pay TV subscriptions. Pay TV revenue fell by 10% last year due to intense competition from other platforms such as satellite and digital TV. The main attraction of cable TV is some content comes from the local community, but customers must pay a monthly fee for cable while other platforms such as satellite and digital have no monthly fee and a variety of content. Some 40-50 cable operators have closed down in recent years, and 100 others are expected to close-down in the coming years.

Cable TV operators that can upgrade to digital are turning to the internet to survive. Both existing and new subscribers are signing up for internet service, leading to 200% growth in the segment. Over the next three years, internet service will likely rise to half of total revenue for cable companies.

Cable TV operators must spend 10-20 million baht to upgrade and offer internet service. Some operators have been able to borrow money from banks, with operating licences provided by the national broadcasting regulator, the NBTC, used as loan guarantees (for guaranteed loans). The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank) will also provide lending of 5-15 million baht and has already approved loans for more than 10 cable TV operators with 100 operators expected to apply for loans this year, for a total of 3-5 billion baht in loans in total.

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BANKING

State pawn shops get liquidity injection for new school year

The government says it has provided 500 million baht in reserves for state-run pawnshops to increase their liquidity as the new school term opens next week. The move should ensure the shops have enough money for their clients who tend to be low-income people. Many parents tend to visit pawnshops to get cash for their children's tuition fees and other expenses such as uniforms and educational equipment. State-run pawnshops have also launched a mobile application reminding customers of the due date on interest payments.

A private pawnshop would charge 2% monthly for a loan of less than 2,000 baht and 1.25% more for additional cash, but all 34 state-run pawnshops nationwide have stuck with their present interest rates to help ease the financial burden on parents: 0.5% charged monthly for a loan of less than 5,000 baht, 0.75% for cash of 5,001-10,000 baht, 1% for cash of 10,001-20,000 baht and 1.25% for cash of more than 21,001 baht. Customers also can repay on installment whereas at a private pawnbroker, customers have to pay a full amount to reclaim the pawned object.

Pawned objects are kept securely at state-run pawnshops, which also offer better money than private ones. Common items pawned by customers include necklaces, jewellery, electronic appliances and mobile phones. In the past, durable, high quality mortar and pestles made of granite also fetched a high value. The pawn shop price for a piece of jewellery would be assessed at 85% of market value. Other items would be assessed at 50%.

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Vocabulary:

additional : more; more than was first mentioned or is usual - ที่เพิ่มขึ้น

amid : at the same time as - ท่ามกลาง

appliance : a machine or piece of equipment that you have in your home, for example a washing machine or refrigerator - เครื่องใช้

apply (verb): to make a formal request for permission to do or have something - ขอ, สมัคร

approved : given official agreement or permission - ได้รับการรับรองแล้ว

arrival : when someone reaches where they are going (arrives) - ขาเข้า การเข้ามา

assess (verb): to carefully consider a situation, person, or problem in order to make a judgment - ประเมิณ, ประเมิณสถานการณ์

attraction : a reason for liking something or for being interested in it - สิ่งจูงใจ, สิ่งดึงดูดใจ

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

back-up plan : a second plan to use if things go wrong, if the first plan fails -

borrow : to take money from a bank, financial organisation, person, etc. and pay it back over a period of time - ยืม

burden : a serious or difficult responsibility that you have to deal with - ภาระ

cash : money - เงินสด

charge (noun): a payment or fee for something - ค่า

circumstances (noun): facts or conditions that affect a situation - เหตุการณ์แวดล้อม

client : a customer or someone who receives services - ลูกค้า

combined : counted together - รวมกัน

community : the people living in one particular area - ชุมชน

competition : a situation in which people or organizations compete, i.e., try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you - การแข่งขัน

content : the subject, ideas, or story that a piece of writing or a radio or television programme deals with - เนื้อหา,สาระ

destination : the place where someone or something is going - จุดหมายปลายทาง

domestic : inside the country being talked about - ภายในประเทศ

due : (of money) must be paid; owed to somebody as a debt, because it is their right or because they have done something to deserve it - เงินที่ต้องชำระ

due date : the day that something must be done before; the last day to do something , before it is too late -

due to : because of - เนื่องจาก

durable : able to stay in good condition for a long time - ทนทาน

ease : to make a problem, situation or pain less severe or serious - บรรเทา

effort : an attempt to do something - ความพยายาม

end up (verb): to be in a certain situation or place after doing something - ลงท้าย, ในที่สุด, ลงเอย

ensure : to make certain that something happens or is done - ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ

equipment : the things that are needed for a particular purpose or activity - อุปกรณ์, เครื่องมือ

expenses : money spent in doing a particular job, or for a particular purpose - ค่าใช้จ่าย

express interest : to say formally that you are interested in participating in some activity, project or business deal -

fetch : to be sold for a particular amount of money - ขายในราคาหนึ่ง

fierce : very strong - รุนแรง, ดุเดือด

financial : involving money - เกี่ยวกับเงิน, ทางการเงิน

freeze : to hold wages, prices, etc. at a fixed level for a period of time - อายัด (ราคา, เงินเดือน, etc.)

generate : to produce - ก่อให้เกิด

global : throughout the world - ทั่วโลก

growth (noun): economic growth, an increase in economic activity - การเติบโต

guarantee : to promise someone that they will have something or will get something - รับประกัน, ค้ำประกัน

guaranteed loan (noun): guaranteed loan; when someone such as a the government agrees to pay back your loan if you cannot pay it back -

injection : putting something into something else, such as a "drug injection" into the blood -

intense : very strong - แรง, เข้มข้น

interest : the money that a bank or other financial company charges you when you borrow money, or the money it pays you when you keep money in an account - ดอกเบี้ย

interest : the money that a bank or other financial company charges you when you borrow money, or the money it pays you when you keep money in an account - ดอกเบี้ย

jewellery : objects such as rings and necklaces that people wear as decoration - เพชรพลอย,อัญมณี

launch : an event held to start selling a new product or service to the public - การเริ่มวางขาย

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

liquidity : more money available, more loans and cash in the economy or a business -

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

loan : an amount of money that a person, business, or country borrows, especially from a bank - เงินกู้

local : in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น

local (adjective): in this country (Thailand) -

location : where someone or something is - ที่ตั้ง,ทำเล

low-income : earning little money - รายได้ต่ำ

move (noun): action -

nationwide : throughout a whole country - ทั่วทั้งประเทศ

necklace : a piece of jewellery consisting of a chain, string of beads, etc. worn around the neck - สร้อยคอ

negative : bad - ที่เป็นด้านลบ

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

officially : publicly and by somebody who is in a position of authority - อย่างเป็นทางการ

offset : to balance the effect of something, with the result that there is no advantage or disadvantage - ชดเชย

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

parent : a person's father or mother - พ่อหรือแม่

pawn (verb): to leave an object with a pawn shop in exchange for money. The object is returned to the owner if he or she pays back the money within an agreed period of time. If not, it can be sold. - จำนำ

pawn shop : a business that lends money in exchange for items left with them. If the money is not paid back by a particular time, the pawnbroker can sell the item - โรงรับจำนำ

pawnbroker : pawn shop; a business that lends money in exchange for items left with them. If the money is not paid back by a particular time, the pawnbroker can sell the item - โรงรับจำนำ

pawnshop : a place where people get loans leaving valuable things to make sure they pay back the loan - โรงรับจำนำ

platform (noun): a type of media or way of distributing information , e.g., websites, newspapers, magazines, video, etc. -

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

property : a building or buildings and the surrounding land - อสังหาริมทรัพย์

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

quality : the standard of something when it is compared to other things like it; how good or bad something is - คุณภาพ

rate : an amount of money that is paid or charged - ราคา, อัตรา

reclaim : to take back something that was yours - เรียกกลับคืน, เอากลับ

registered (adj): to be on an official list; to be on an official list of names of people who are allowed to do something, e.g., vote, study, sell something, stay in a hotel etc - ซึ่งลงทะเบียนไว้

regulator : an official (or organisation) who makes certain that the companies who operate a system work effectively and fairly - ผู้มีอำนาจควบคุม

research : a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - การวิจัย

reserves : bank reserves; money provided in the banking system to support more loans by banks -

revenue : income from taxes or business activities - รายได้

satellite : an electronic device that is sent into space and moves around the earth or another planet. It is used for communicating by radio, television, etc. and for providing information - ดาวเทียม

school term : academic term; one of the periods of time into which the year is divided for students - ภาคเรียน

securely : meaning people cannot get or access data, so privacy is protected -

segment : market segment; products produced for a group of customers that have many things in common such as income or family size or age or location - ส่วนตลาด

sign up (verb): to join something and become a member by giving your signature, join up, sign on - เซ็นชื่อเข้า, ลงชื่อเข้าร่วม

situation : all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place - สถานการณ์

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

spring up : to appear or to be produced suddenly and quickly - ทะลึ่งพรวด

state : government - รัฐ

state-run : government operated - ที่รัฐเป็นเจ้าของ

struggling : having serious difficulties - มีความยุ่งยาก

stuck with : having something stay with you, especially something bad that you cannot change - ติด

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

subscription : an amount of money that you pay regularly to receive a product or service or to be a member of an organization - การบอกรับเป็นสมาชิก

supply (noun): an amount or quantity of something that is available to buy or use - อุปทาน

survey : to ask a large number of people questions to find out their opinions - สำรวจ

survive : to continue to exist - รอดพ้น

survive : to continue to exist - อยู่รอด  สืบต่อไปได้

tend to : to be likely to behave in a particular way or have a particular characteristic - มักจะ

total : including everything; being the amount or number after everyone or everything is counted or added together - ทั้งหมด

tough : difficult to do or to deal with - ยาก ยากลำบาก

tuition fees : money paid to attend classes - ค่าเล่าเรียน

uniform : the special set of clothes worn by all members of an organisation or a group at work, or by children at school - เครื่องแบบ

upgrade (noun): something that improves the quality or usefulness of a computer, a machine or a system - การยกระดับ, การพัฒนาให้ดีขึ้น

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

variety (noun): many different types of things or people - ความหลากหลาย

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