What happened this week 23/09 – 27/09


  • BoT will regulate gold trading to curb speculation – The Bank of Thailand is looking to regulate gold trading, as it suspects gold imports have been used to speculate on exchange rates. The central bank also wants to protect retail investors who buy gold-linked financial papers. (Bangkok Post, 22/09/13)
  • Ministry plans 16 measures to boost trade, aim is to lift Q4 exports by US$758mn — The Commerce Ministry has introduced 16 measures to boost exports of food, agricultural-industrial, and industrial goods in the final quarter of the year. (The Nation, 23/09/13)
  • Full-year export forecast soon to be lowered – The government has yet to cut its export target forecast, asking for more discussions with the private sector and relevant state agencies before doing so, possibly this month. Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan yesterday admitted the country’s export performance will likely be about halved from the present 7% forecast to 3-4%. (Bangkok Post, 24/09/13)
  • Three tough challenges await Srirat as Commerce Ministry chief – Srirat Rastapana is set to take over at the helm of the Commerce Ministry at a particularly difficult time, as three major challenges – the cost of living, sagging exports, and the rice-pledging scheme – await her arrival. (The Nation, 25/09/13)
  • Finance Ministry gets Cabinet nod for 8 loan-guarantee categories – The Cabinet yesterday approved the Finance Ministry’s draft announcement on the scope of loan guarantees for state enterprises and government agencies. (The Nation, 25/09/13)
  • Cabinet to consider duty cut – A proposal to cut import duty on luxury products to 5% from 30% is set to go before the cabinet for approval by the end of next month, finance permanent secretary Areepong Bhoocha-oom said yesterday. (Bangkok Post, 25/09/13)
  • Exports: August figures up after 3-month drop – Thai exports saw a rebound in August after three months of decline thanks mainly to a recovery in the global economy and a rise in the shipments of key export products, helping shore up the country’s exports with a growth of 1.03%for the first eight months of this year. (Bangkok Post, 27/09/13)
  • Kittiratt: No need for spot gold law – Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong has brushed aside the Bank of Thailand’s proposal to regulate the spot gold market after the central bank found discrepancies between spot market trades and the US-dollar value of transactions. (Bangkok Post, 27/09/13)
  • Kittiratt: Bt2trn bill neutral to public debt — Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittirat said that the Bt2trn bill will not affect public debt. He says Thailand’s GDP will grow by Bt1trn each year and reach Bt20trn by 2020. Loan repayments are to be shorter than 50 years. He also is encouraging the private sector to invest in the government in infrastructure projects. (Krungthep Turakij, 27/09/13)


  • Merkel’s conservatives biggest winner in German election – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), emerged as the biggest winner in Sunday’s federal election, official provisional results showed early Monday. The pair garnered 41.5% of the vote, while the largest opposition party, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), took 25.7%, according to the results. (Xinhua, 23/09/13)
  • Wall Street plunges on tapering comments – In a television interview with Bloomberg before the opening bell, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said that “no taper” was a close decision in the Fed September meeting and a small reduction in Fed’s monetary stimulus is possible in October meeting. Separately, he said that the Fed can be patient as to when to trim its monthly asset purchases with a low inflation in a speech later Friday. (Xinhua, 21/09/13)
  • US: The Chicago Fed National Activity Index, a gauge of the U.S. overall economic activity, rose to 0.14 in August from minus 0.43 in July. (Xinhua, 24/09/13)
  • Markit’s U.S. flash manufacturing PMI unexpectedly fell to 52.8 from August’s 53.1 reading. Economists were looking for a rise to 54.0. (Business Insider, 24/09/13)
  • US: U.S. home prices rose steadily in July but at a slower pace, suggesting that the rate of increase may have peaked, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released by S&P Dow Jones Indices Tuesday. Separately, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index revealed U.S. house price appreciation continued in July, rising 1.0% on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, marking the eighteenth consecutive monthly price increase. Moreover, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index for the United States stood at 79.7 in September, lower than the revised figure of 81.8 in August and the market consensus. (Xinhua, 25/09/13)
  • US: The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims fell 5,000 to 305,000 last week from the previous week’s upwardly revised figure of 310,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported. Among other economic data, U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an unrevised annual rate of 2.5% in the second quarter of the year, according to the third and final estimate released by the Commerce Department. In the first quarter, the real GDP of the country increased 1.1%. Moreover, pending U.S. home sales slowed in August, with tight inventory conditions, higher interest rates, rising home prices and continuing restrictive mortgage credit impacting the market, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index dropped 1.6% in August from the prior month. (Xinhua, 27/09/13)
  • Eurozone: ECB reports that private sector borrowing in August decreased by 2% YoY, the 16th consecutive monthly decline, showing that recovery is still slow. Total loans and securitized securities contracted by -1.5%. (IQ Biz, 26/09/13)
  • China: In the next two years, the prices of motor gasoline and diesel that meet the national “fourth-phase” standard will be raised by 290 yuan (US$46.8) per ton and 370 yuan per ton, respectively, the National Reform and Development Commission (NDRC), the country’s top economic planner, said on Monday. China has announced stricter motor fuel standards in a bid to reduce harmful emissions after smog blanketed much of the country at the beginning of 2013. (Xinhua, 24/09/13)
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