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Is Thailand Headed For Economic Calamity?

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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
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Location: LAND OF SMILES & INSTANT GRATIFICATION, of Delightful Exploitation...and a true Buddhist spirit!

PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:11 pm    Post subject: Is Thailand Headed For Economic Calamity? Reply with quote

Source: Bangkok Post 04 June 2006

Economists see hard times ahead
Thais must prepare for 'downturn like 1997'

By Anucha Charoenpo

Leading economists warned yesterday that Thailand could face a new round of economic problems in light of world economic uncertainty. Speaking at the Thai Strategies in the Global Trend seminar, organised by Triam Udom Suksa School yesterday, the economists said Thais should prepare in advance to cope with the possibility of another economic downturn similar to the 1997 crisis.

Virabongsa Ramangura, former finance minister and deputy prime minister, said the economy was on the decline because of world economic uncertainty, particularly in the financial sector.

The world's economic strucuture was changing significantly under the influence of the continuing economic growth of China, India and Russia. Capital flows into and out of the country have increased in volume and become more unpredictable.

''We are worried that if Thailand can't cope with this economic situation in time, the country could run into a new round of economic crisis,'' he said.

He called on the government to come up with austerity programmes to encourage Thais to economise and stop spending lavishly.

He said apart from the uncertainty of the world economy, the rise in energy costs and terrorism threats would also affect domestic growth.

Varakorn Samkoset, rector of Dhurakijbandit University, said the country urgently needed to pay more attention to human development to enable people to cope better with international uncertainty.

The government, he said, will need to find a way to measure the national economic condition more accurately.

The use of GDP figures did not always accurately reflect the economic success people were enjoying, Mr Varakorn said.

Paiboon Wattanasiritham, chairman of the Centre for the Promotion of National Strength on Moral Ethics and Values, said His Majesty the King's self-sufficiency economic policy was an answer as Thailand faced a looming economic crunch.

He vehemently disagreed with a government idea that economic success could bring more happiness to society.

Instead of focusing on gross domestic product, the government should devise a tool to measure the happiness of the people. This method has been used by Bhutan, he said.

Somkid Jatusripitak, caretaker deputy prime minister and commerce minister, conceded that the government would need to place more emphasis on human development to enable the country to compete with other countries.

The government's ability to develop its people to enable them to attain equality, socially and economically, would be the key to long-term national economic development, he said.

The government will need to promote domestic consumption to enable the economy to be less dependent on exports, he said.

Supachai Panitchpakdi, secretary-general of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), warned the government to be more careful in entering free trade agreements with developed countries to prevent undesired impact on the economy.

Mr Supachai said he was very concerned that the government's FTA policy could put the country at a disadvantage if the agreements were not carefully studied beforehand.

He said he was not saying FTAs were good or bad, but he believed agreements should be limited to countries in the same region because their economies were more or less the same size as Thailand's and the agreements were more likely to be mutually beneficial.

Personally, I think a lot of it is scaremongering from a Thai Rak Thai "manipulator". Although a downturn could be likely I don't think any government can prevent it form occuring or reasonably protect anyone from its effects. This is more than a hint to scare people into voting for TRT, because they have a "reputation" of keeping the economy ticking over.

"Toxinomics" is brutal to the poor and the rural people, but who gives a shit? The average Thai is no different from anyone else—he would like to keep his job. Self-interest. And in times where calamity is expected, people will seek protection for themselves and their families FIRST.

Scaremongering is a type of psychological warfare waged by power-seeking politicians on ordinary sleep-walking voters—most of them who are so dumb they'd fall for anything anyway. Laughing Fucking idiots! Twisted Evil

Many Thais (and many Asians) still remember the pain of 1997. and they are conditioned by F E A R . And it is no surprise that politicians know this.

Add to the mix more "bad news": rising oil price, global terrorism, Islamic militancy, globalisation (notice the scare-tactics on FTA's?), tsunami's, nuclear weapons, bird-flu, SARs and AIDs... and for good measure throw in environmental pollution, and as a bonus—collision of the planet with an asteroid.

Now you have a voter who is so scared, he is shitting his pants. Now, a savvy marketing guy or charismatic politician can further "hypnotise" our hapless citizen and deepen his trance, until he becomes compliant and obedient to the whims of the state apparatus, thus fattening the corrupt elite even more. Laughing

Spectacular! Shocked

However, where there is crisis, there is also danger and opportunity. I'm a person who enjoys "crashing markets". And any attempt to interfere by govt regulation only prolongs and deepens the pain—giving "greedy opportunists" time to get more resources together.

And of course, I am never "too busy" to inculcate the suffering of others into my schedule, so that I can experience the situation as an "Entertainment Special".

Hollywood invests a lot of expensive resources to create experiences of blood-letting, violence and gore, horror, tragedy, deceit and falls from grace. Man, I can get that shit free from nature almost everyday. Hollywoods' versions are just sad, monochromatic facsimiles! Rolling Eyes

On with the show! Scream you bastards, scream! I want excitement! Laughing Laughing

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 4:19 pm    Post subject: Economic forecast continues to drop Reply with quote


Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Economic forecast continues to drop

Slower second half, economists predict


The government's economic think tank yesterday cut its 2006 economic growth forecast to a range of 4.2-4.9% from an earlier estimate of 4.5-5.5% due to soaring oil prices, a slowdown in the global economy and inflation-rate increases.

"The latest economic projection is based on existing constraints, particularly from oil prices, which are expected to stay at an average of US$65 a barrel compared with the earlier projected $57 per barrel, and an inflation rate ranging from 4.5% to 4.7%, up from 3.5% to 4.5%," said Ampon Kittiampon, the secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB).

Global oil prices have reached more than $70 per barrel, while the headline inflation rate in May hit a seven-month high of 6.2%, due to high oil prices, which sharply raised the costs of energy and public transport.

The revision came despite the fact that the country's economy grew by 6% year-on-year in the first three months of the year, against 4.7% in the last quarter of 2005, on the back of robust exports and a growing number of tourists.

Exports rose in value by 17.9% year-on-year during the first quarter, with imports up 5.4%.

Caretaker finance minister Thanong Bidaya said he expected second-quarter growth to be on par with the first, although growth in the second half of the year would slow due to flagging investment.

"Assuming the second-quarter figures come out as well as we expect, growth for the entire year should be over 4.5%, outpacing last year's growth," he said.

The NESDB said that in the first quarter, agricultural production rose by 7.1%, compared with a 0.2% decline in the last quarter of 2005. High growth was largely derived from major crop outputs that rose by 9.3%, particularly for rice, sugarcane and cassava, with higher prices as well.

The non-agricultural sector rose by 5.9%, compared with 5.3% in the last quarter of 2005, supported by a rise in manufacturing for export, hotels and restaurants, transport and communication.

On the expenditure side, household consumption continued to grow by 4.1%, driven by higher farm incomes and wage increases caused by higher oil prices, inflation and interest rates.

Investment, however, grew by only 6.6%, down from 8.1% in the fourth quarter of 2005, reflecting a slowdown in private investment growth from 9.3% to 7.2%.

Public investment rose to 4.7% as both central and local governments drew on budgets from the previous year.

Government consumption fell slightly by 0.7% due to a 5.5% decline in state purchases of goods and services.

Economic indicators in the first three months of 2006 showed that domestic demand, both in private consumption and investment, continued to slow down and to a larger extent than previously expected.

The agency revised the projection of private investment and public investment growth to 4.9% and 4%, from 9.3% and 6.8% respectively, projected previously.

Export growth was revised down to 13.6% from the previous projection of 15.3%, with a trade deficit of $6.1 billion and a current-account deficit of $1 billion, representing 0.5% of gross domestic product.

Mr Ampon said constraints on growth in the second half of this year would remain high oil prices, continued rising inflation, a rise in interest rates and the slowdown in the global economy, as well as domestic political uncertainty.

According to the NESDB chief, the downward trend of the electronics segment, a major export earner, was also expected to dampen export performance.

The board urged the government to concentrate on speeding up the disbursement of the state budget, worth 478 billion baht, in order to bring growth of public investment up to 8-10%, to accelerate exports, especially of agricultural products, boost international tourism and improve macroeconomic management.

It also proposed the government promote alternative-energy sources to reduce oil imports, restrain the current-account deficit, and restore investment confidence among domestic and foreign investors.

Bangkok Post
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 4:22 pm    Post subject: Foreigners continue to dump Asian stocks Reply with quote


Friday June 09, 2006

Foreigners continue to dump Asian stocks

SET sheds a total of 10.4% in past month


Thai stocks continued to fall yesterday, with the benchmark index closing down 1.83% as Asian markets shut lower on foreign selling.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand index closed at 675.63 points, down 12.59, in trade worth 12.26 billion baht. Energy stocks dropped 2.64%, banks fell 1.17% and communications dropped 0.7% in broad-based selling.

Yesterday's sell-off brought losses over the past month to over 10.4%, as foreign investors continued to dump Asian and emerging market shares on expectations of rising global interest rates.

Mumbai stocks yesterday lost nearly 6%, while Tokyo fell more than 3% and Hong Kong dropped 2.3% as most Asian markets closed lower.

Analysts said that with yesterday's decline, the next technical support line for the SET index was 650 points.

Sadawut Taechaubol, the chief executive officer at Adkinson Securities, said the index could fall to 650 points if foreign funds continued to dump Asian stocks.

''But Thai share fundamentals are quite strong, so investors should take this opportunity to buy blue-chip stocks,'' Mr Sadawut said.

''The Thai market can pick up quickly as market fundamentals are quite solid. Our weak point is politics, and I believe that foreign investors will return once the political situation clears.''

Sombat Narawuttichai, the secretary-general of the Securities Analysts Association, said expectations of a further hike in US interest rates had helped push the baht up against most Asian currencies.

''The dollar has strengthened steadily over the past three weeks, prompting a shift by institutional investors. The baht however has remained fairly steady, as capital inflows continue to enter the market,'' he said.

Mr Sombat said that the SET, with a price-to-earnings ratio of just eight times, was trading quite cheaply, although sentiment remained poor.

The index would find support at 650 to 660 points, he added, as this was the point where many institutional investors had taken positions last year.

''Short-term investors, however, should avoid the market until uncertainties about US interest rates and currency trends clear,'' Mr Sombat said.

''If interest rates, oil prices and inflation continue to rise, we might not see any earnings growth for listed companies this year,'' he said.

The SAA last month announced a consensus forecast for 2.8% growth in earnings per share for the year.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright! This is what I like to see. Big institutional investors bailing out of Asia, lowering the regions bourses! Shocked

Down it goes! C'mon, down another 20% oh merciful God Of The Bears!

The hedge funds haven't started short-selling yet. Hey guys... wake up! Short the market... what are you waiting for! Twisted Evil
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