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True Corp announces alliance with China Mobile มิถุนายน 10, 2014

Filed under: Corporate,The Nation — sootin claimon @ 9:43 am
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ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation




True Corp group has announced an alliance with China Mobile to strengthen its business and recapitalise its financial position through a private placement of about Bt28.6 billion, equivalent to 18 per cent of total shares, and a rights offering to existing shareholders amounting to approximately Bt36.4 billion.

Currently Charoen Pokphand group owns around 60 per cent of True Corp, whose businesses range from mobile- and fixed-telephone services to broadband Internet and pay television.

After the deal with China Mobile, CP’s stake will be diluted to around 49 per cent. China Mobile will become the second-largest shareholder at 18 per cent.

Noppadol Dej-Udom, group chief financial officer of True Corporation, said the company would seek approval from its shareholders on July 25 for its recapitalisation, which amounts to about Bt65 billion.

The recapitalisation plan involves the sale of new shares worth around Bt28.6 billion in a private placement to China Mobile.

At the same time, True will make a rights offering of about Bt36.4 billion comprising 5,648,285,818 shares to existing shareholders in the ratio of 2.5725 existing shares to 1 new share.

The price of the rights issue will be set at Bt6.45 per share, which is the same price paid by China Mobile through the private placement.

According to True, this recapitalisation will create investment opportunities for the company in new technologies, which will help elevate the country to the forefront of the global telecom industry.

Dhanin Chearavanont, chairman and chief executive of CP Group and chairman of True Corp, said True Group was honoured to welcome China Mobile as a strategic partner.

In the event that there are unsubscribed shares from the rights offering, CP Group, as True’s principal shareholder, will readily purchase the unsubscribed shares to complete the total amount of the rights offering by considering various means that are suitable to support this.

Li Yue, CEO of China Mobile, said: “China Mobile has been expanding internationally and is seeking overseas strategic investment opportunities to further develop its international operations.

Thailand and China enjoy strong economic and trade connections, and the investment environment in Thailand is very friendly. “True Group is the ideal partner in Thailand as evidenced by its leadership in the broadband and cable TV industry as well as its leading position in the 3G and 4G mobile business amidst the fierce competition in the Thai telecommunications sector.”

China Mobile says it views True Group’s unique convergence business strategy and long-term vision as having strong potential to bring about long-term growth in profitability.

Through the proposed strategic investment in True Corp, China Mobile expects to access new customers, international business opportunities and new earnings growth drivers, which is of great significance to the telecom business of the company. It also represents a major initiative by the company in enhancing its international presence, achieving strategic transformation and promoting reform and innovation, it says.

A telecom analyst said the partnership would help True with its financing, since its net gearing has reached 1,051 per cent.

The new partner and new capital would help True with new investment projects, including its plan to enter the upcoming licence auctions for the 1,800-megahertz spectrum in August and for 900MHz in November.

True group has 23.1 million subscribers to its mobile-phone service.

Supachai Chearavanont, president and CEO of True, said the group had achieved another important milestone via a strategic partnership with China Mobile to enhance its competitiveness as well as strengthen its financial standing, paving the way to sustainable growth.

“The strategic partnership will help reduce True’s overall debt burden as well as strengthen its financial status, which will lead to a significant change that will transform us into a profitable company.”

China Mobile has a subscriber base of nearly 800 million and the largest mobile-communications network globally. It has been listed on the Hong Kong and New York stock exchanges.

The True board of directors discussed the recapitalisation plan yesterday at a special meeting.

The company requested that the Stock Exchange of Thailand order a halt to trading of its securities on a temporary basis for the afternoon period.

It said a board meeting was going to be held to make decisions on significant matters that would affect the decisions of investors trading the company’s shares.

The board yesterday resolved to propose to the shareholders’ meeting that they approve the company’s recapitalisation plan.


Thai TV Pool keeps news channel plans after losing partner

Filed under: Corporate,The Nation — sootin claimon @ 9:42 am
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ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Thai TV Pool, publisher of entertainment magazine TV Pool and the operator of two digital TV channels, insists that its business plan for Thai TV, its news channel, remains unchanged despite the departure of its news-content partner Post TV.

“We would say that we have suffered from the end of this two-month partnership after re-ceiving a notice e-mailed from Post TV on May 31, saying that the company would stop producing and supplying news programmes immediately,” Pantipa Sakulchai, president of Thai TV Pool, said yesterday.

She insisted that her company had no wish to take any legal action against this termination because there was no legal agreement between the two.

However, on February 6, Thai TV Pool held a press conference to announce Post TV, a subsidiary of Post Publishing, as its exclusive news-content provider. Under this partnership, Post TV was to produce general news programmes mainly involving economic, business, political, social, and current-affairs subjects exclusively for THV channel under a time- and profit-sharing arrangement.

Post TV, which failed to secure a digital-TV licence last year, was to produce up to six hours a day of programming for THV, or about 25 per cent of total airtime.

Replacement in place

But after the deal collapsed, Pantipa, who is renowned as “Big Sister Tim of TV Pool” in the entertainment industry, and her firm set up a news team replacing the Post TV unit. Thai TV’s news team is now led by experienced news editor Preecha Vasakulpanit, who serves as managing editor, and famous TV host Suphap Kleekachai as chief adviser.

Before joining this station, Preecha was news editor at TNN 24.

This news team will produce up to seven hours a day of programming. The company hopes that by being its own content producer it can meet the basic requirements of a digital news channel under the regulations of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

Currently the news department staff numbers about 30. The company needs more employees to enable adequate news programming. Some news reporters should be voluntarily rotated from the entertainment news desk.

Having its news production in-house, news and information programmes will account for 61.59 per cent of total daily time slots.

Pantipa acknowledged that production costs for news programming would be higher after the departure of its content partner but she still insisted that the revenue target remained unchanged at Bt2 billion by end of this year. The plan to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand by 2019 also remains unchanged.

According to a previous interview, Thai TV Pool had budgeted more than Bt1.6 billion for programme production for its two digital channels, one for news and one in the children/family category.


Singha restructures to support high growth target in five years

Filed under: Corporate,The Nation — sootin claimon @ 9:40 am
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ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Singha Corporation is embarking on its third organisational restructuring in over 80 years of doing business to tap new opportunities with strong potential and major business alliances.

The first was the switch from Boon Rawd Brewery to Singha Corporation, followed by the segregation of the alcoholic and non-alcoholic businesses.

Bhurit Bhirombhakdi, director of the non-alcoholic business division, said yesterday that the latest revamp will facilitate diversification into non-alcoholic food and beverages, such as rice and Thai foods, via mergers or joint ventures, as well as acquisitions of firms with strong future potential and prospects.

For example, Singha has entered into a 50-50 joint venture with Maruzen Tea, Japan’s top three tea producer.

It has also linked up with Bain & Co of the US – a leading management consulting company specialising in investment and market research. With its global and diverse business network, Bain can help Singha devise an effective marketing strategy.

Bain is negotiating with Japanese investors in the food and real estate industries. The goal is to help Singha double in size in five years, from this year’s target of about Bt110 billion-Bt120 billion and Bt100 billion last year.

Singha oversees 64 subsidiaries and affiliated companies in five main business groups – non-alcoholic, alcoholic, joint venture, packaging and real estate.

Funds to support expansion and investment will come from financial institutions. A family business such as Singha is not yet ready for public listing, he said.

Singha posted 15-per-cent growth last year. Its revenue for the first half of this year was below target with single-digit growth over the same period last year, .

The non-alcoholic business is expected to pick up by 10 per cent, or about Bt28 billion.


Council wants junta to help tourism industry

Filed under: Economics,The Nation — sootin claimon @ 9:38 am
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ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Many problems need addressing besides curfew, TCT says

The tourism sector is pressing the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to solve some urgent problems that are making things even worse for a crucial industry that has been hit hard for months.

The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) also is putting forward some short-term measures to prop up the industry.

“Apart from lifting night-time curfews in tourist areas, the military government still needs to solve many other problems. These include reducing illegal businesses such as [unlicensed] taxis in Phuket, Chinese-language tourist guides who are reportedly damaging local guides’ [business], and overcharging for electricity on Samui Island,” said Pornthip Hirunkate, vice president of the TCT.

Since the military seized power last month, travel associations, especially in the provinces, have approached the NCPO directly for help instead of the TCT, as they believe they will get a quicker response from the junta.

The TCT, however, is compiling a list of problems and will soon pass them to the NCPO. It will also advise the regime to run a series of short-term recovery plans such as providing funding to help retired people travel, encouraging government officials to hold meetings and conference in the provinces, and reducing exploitation of tourists.

Meanwhile, the junta should launch a hotel-discount campaign very soon to boost domestic travel. The campaign would be funded by the Bt840-million grant announced last week to revive tourism.

“Tourism has dropped significantly since the military coup last month. But we still have hopes of being a world-famous destination,” Pornthip said.

According to statistics, Thailand earned Bt1.3 trillion in revenue from foreign tourists last year, ranking seventh in global tourism income – ahead of all Asean and after only China, up from ninth in 2012. There were 26.5 million international visitors last year, 10th globally.

According to the NCPO, three more major tourist destinations -Khao Yai, Koh Chang and Koh Phangan – have had the curfew lifted. Places previously exempted are Phuket, Koh Samui, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Cha-am and Hat Yai.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is projecting international visitor arrivals in 2014 at 25.6 million, a slight drop from last year. However, visitor expenditure is expected to rise 2.18 per cent to Bt1.23 trillion.


E-commerce services provider aCommerce closes Series A funding round

Filed under: Economics,The Nation — sootin claimon @ 9:37 am
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ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


A provider of end-to-end e-commerce services called aCommerce has closed its Series A funding round of US$10.7 million (Bt347 million), making it the largest Series A for a Thailand-originated venture and one of the largest in Southeast Asia to date.

Organised by its founding investor, Ardent Capital, the round was led by Bangkok-based Inspire Ventures with participation from NTT Docomo, Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia Ltd, Sinar Mas Indonesia, Asia Pacific Digital, Cyberagent Ventures, JL Capital, strategic angel investors, and key executive staff.

“In just one year, aCommerce has built a stacked team of players from Amazon, Walmart, DHL, eBay, Apple, Oracle, McKinsey, Microsoft, and Rocket Internet and expanded into four robust Southeast Asian markets,” said Tom Kim, partner and co-founder of Inspire Ventures.

Upbeat on future

“With their global experience and local expertise, we are confident in this team’s ability to execute and become the dominant e-commerce solutions provider in the region. E-commerce is growing rapidly, and these guys are well positioned to capitalise on this disruptive global trend.”

Founded last June, aCommerce has four offices and employs more than 250 staff across Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The firm will use the new capital to strengthen its e-commerce logistics infrastructure, expand its delivery fleet, develop its AMP (asset management platform) technologies, and expand its channel management and PopShop products, which are online “pop-up stores” for brands to sell directly on content sites.

The company will also ramp up its cross-border solutions such as customs clearance, Food and Drug Administration certification, and local business operating licences for global brands and retailers to expedite their entry to Southeast Asian markets.

The firm is a regional e-commerce service provider delivering customised solutions for global brands such as L’Oreal (Maybelline, Kiehl’s), HP, Line Chat, and Groupon among others.


Malaysia is well on the way to high-income status, says PM Najib

Filed under: Economics,The Nation — sootin claimon @ 9:36 am
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ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks during the

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks during the

A gateway to Asean with significant investment opportunities, meet told

Malaysia is successfully undergoing a major transformation process to become a high-income economy by 2020, through vast improvements in the country’s inclusiveness and sustainability, its prime minister says.

In a speech to a trade and investment forum called “Invest Malaysia” held yesterday in Kuala Lumpur, Najib Razak said his country offered significant opportunities – as an investment destination in its own right, and as a gateway to Asean.

Organised by Bursa Malaysia and CIMB Investment Bank, the investment forum was meant to showcase Malaysia’s advantage as Asean’s multinational marketplace.

Najib said 2015 would be a challenging year both politically and economically as the AseanEconomic Community is fully implemented. Malaysia needs to prepare itself for where it wants to be in the future under AEC. The country has set up a management office to enhance cooperation between the government and the private sector on AEC initiatives.

“Our economy is developing fast – with strong growth, phased liberalisation, and greater connectivity. We are on track to reach our national economic ambition: to become a high-income nation by 2020, one of the few countries to cross the threshold this century,” he said.

Najib said that under the Economic Transformation Programme, which guides Malaysia’s economic development, the country aimed to attract 1.23 trillion ringgit (Bt12.5 trillion) in private investment by the end of the decade. Foreign capital will continue to build the businesses, infrastructure and confidence on which Malaysia’s economic success depends.

“In the four years since the programme began, we’ve seen some headline achievements – from soaring gross national income to huge increases in competitiveness,” Najib said. He said the country was headed towards high-income status and building up a more sustainable economy, with greater opportunity for young people, a more accessible financial sector, and a clear balance between macro achievements and individual success.

“We must create growth that is lasting, and an open, inclusive economy – an economy where national development and individual ambitions unite behind common goals,” he said.

Najib said Malaysia’s economy rested on strong foundations. Since the Asian financial crisis, the country has focused on the fundamentals: creating a strong and stable financial architecture, opening its economy to foreign investment, and directing resources and policies towards key economic priorities.

Last year, the country’s gross domestic product grew by 4.7 per cent. In the first quarter of 2014, it was 6.2 per cent year on year, exceeding expectations.

He said that thanks to healthy labour-market conditions and sustained income growth, private consumption grew 7.6 per cent in 2013, compared with 6.9 per cent in 2010.

It now accounts for 51.2 per cent of GDP, well on course to achieve around 60 per cent of GDP by 2020.

The country’s private investment has also surged, growing 15.3 per cent between 2010 and 2013 – more than triple the compounded annual growth rate compared to the previous three-year period. Total private investment last year reached 161.1 billion ringgit – surpassing the target for the year by some 8.6 per cent, and almost double the 86.7 billion ringgit invested in 2010.

Najib said this investment had been put to productive use, helping to create jobs and grow stronger businesses. Malaysian companies’ market capitalisation has grown by 184 per cent since 2009. Back then, there were 194 publicly listed companies with income over 500 million ringgit. Today, there are 274. And sectors in the National Key Economic Areas have created a total of 1.3 million additional high-value jobs in the past three years.

“Alongside our efforts to build a strong economic base, we have introduced a series of policies to make it easier – and more attractive – to live, invest and do business here in Malaysia. These, too, are paying off,” Najub said.

Idris Jala, chief executive officer of the government’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) and minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said Malaysia’s transformation had been actively conducted in many areas, including fiscal policy and disciplined governance. These included the reduction of subsidies and improved value management; measures to improve the living quality of rural and poor people, as well as women, and in transparency and accountability.

“We have set an ambition to reduce global carbon intensity by 40 per cent by 2020, driven by the growth of the service sector and a solid-waste management programme,” he said.

Fredrico Gil Sander, senior country economist for the World Bank, said one of Malaysia’s biggest advantages was its openness to international business communities, which had encouraged rapid improvement in its global competitiveness.

Last year, in recognition of the significant opportunities for further growth in the region, the Securities Commission Malaysia, together with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand, signed memoranda of understanding to enable fund managers from these three jurisdictions to offer collective investment schemes to retail investors within the signatory countries.


When puberty occurs too young

Filed under: Living&Health,The Nation — sootin claimon @ 9:34 am
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ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation



Mention puberty and most parents immediately think of the emotional problems that lie ahead as their kids become sexually mature.

But it’s important to realise that puberty is primarily about physical development and not just children outgrowing their clothes and the rules made by their mums and dads.

Puberty ranges from 9-14 years in boys and 8-13 years in girls. When it occurs at the younger ages in the spectrum, parents will have to answer the children’s questions about differences between men and women as well as the physical changes that the children are experiencing at an earlier stage to their peers. This is necessary so that the children will not have any difficulties with their peer group and will be able to cope with teasing from their peers. It is important for the parents to understand their children and know how to talk to them without embarrassing them. It can be a challenging time for both children and parents.

Early puberty causes the skeleton to mature more quickly and bone growth to stop at an earlier age than is the case in children who experience puberty at a later age. The early growth spurt may make children initially tall when compared with their peers, but they may stop growing too soon and end up at shorter than they would have otherwise reached. It can eventually result in a short adult stature.

There is a correlation between early puberty and adult height. In girls, after 2-3 months of their regular periods, they are at 96 per cent of their final height. After that, they will gain the final 4 per cent of their height, or about 5-7 cm. In boys, when the voice changes, they are at 94 per cent of their final height and will gain only about another 8-10 cm in height.

Physical changes occur earlier in early puberty, but the signs of puberty in boys are virtually invisible to anyone. Testicular enlargement is the sign of puberty in males. The testicular length increases to over 2.5 cm. In girls, it’s easier to notice physical changes. Breast development starts with a lump beneath each nipple. After these first physical changes, the boys and girls will grow taller rapidly. Oily faces produce acne and body odour begins. Pubic and underarm hair grows. Emotional changes also occur. In girls, after 3 years of menstruation, their growth stops. At the same time, according to radiographic assessment of bone age, the girls achieve a bone age of 16 years (99.6 per cent of adult height). In boys, 4 years after the voice changes, their growth almost stops and they achieve a bone age of 18 years or 99.6 per cent adult height.

Height may affect personality and even future career options, so in order to ensure that children grow properly, it is advisable to seek medical advice from a paediatric endocrinologist as early as age six 6 for a girl and 8 for a boy. Parents can also help children in the following ways:

Nutrition: Some protein foods will help trigger a release of growth hormone. Eat nutritious foods from 5 groups, as well as vitamins and minerals such as calcium in their proper daily amounts. Avoid non-organic meats as they are loaded with puberty-inducing chemicals. There is evidence that obesity also contributes to earlier puberty in girls.

Deep sleep: According to a study on growth hormones released daily by the anterior pituitary gland in growing children, 50 per cent of growth hormones are released between 10pm and 2am during deep sleep. The children should therefore go to bed no later than 9pm.

Exercise: Growth hormones are released more after exercise. Children should exercise for 30-60 minutes at least 5 times a week.

In extreme cases, early puberty decreases predicted height to a very low level. Medication can be used to reduce hormones temporarily, delay bone development, and extend the time for height growth. A monthly injection of the medication may increase the final height.

Dr Piyarat Lertbunnaphong is a paediatric endocrinologist at Samitivej International Children’s Hospital, Sukhumvit Campus. Call (02) 711 8236-7.