For such a big change it was a very small announcement. An unscheduled communiqué published on its website on Saturday June 16 2018 revealed that Thailand’s Crown Property Bureau had transferred its entire portfolio — royal assets worth tens of billions of dollars held for more than 80 years on behalf of the monarchy and the nation — into the hands of the new King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

“All Crown Property assets are to be transferred and revert to the ownership of His Majesty so that they may be administered and managed at His Majesty’s discretion,” the CPB said, clarifying the details of a crown property law passed the previous year. It added that the assets would “now be held in the name of His Majesty” and be subject to tax.

It was an extraordinary move. Thailand’s royal wealth portfolio is estimated to be worth more than $40bn. In addition to swaths of prime real estate in downtown Bangkok, the CPB owns large stakes in the kingdom’s biggest industrial company, Siam Cement Group, and one of its largest lenders, Siam Commercial Bank. The transfer of ownership from the CPB to the personal control of the king confirmed him as one of the world’s richest monarchs. 

Strict restrictions on what can and can’t be said about Thailand’s royal family — most notably a lèse majesté law that carries a maximum 15-year jail term for saying or writing anything that might be construed as an insult — meant that the transfer of ownership was barely reported. Nobody, including the Financial Times, questioned why it was necessary or raised concerns about the concentration of financial power in Thailand’s current head of state. 

Bangkok: Thailand’s Crown Property Bureau announced in June that 'all Crown Property assets are to be transferred and revert to the ownership of His Majesty'
Bangkok: Thailand’s Crown Property Bureau announced in June 2018 that ‘all Crown Property assets are to be transferred and revert to the

A customer takes a photo with his mobile phone at a Thai Airways pop-up airplane-themed restaurant at the airline’s headquarters in Bangkok on Sept. 10, 2020.

Mladen Antonov | AFP | Getty Images

Thailand will focus on spurring domestic consumption and reopening an economy badly hit by the impact of the coronavirus crisis, the country’s new finance ministry said on Monday.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy suffered its deepest contraction in 22 years in the second quarter as the pandemic hammered the key tourism sector and domestic activity.

The other main tasks include boosting liquidity, supporting tourism and accelerating public spending, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith told reporters on his first official day at work.

“The most urgent task is to boost liquidity for businesses affected by Covid-19 as the business sector accounts for 70% of GDP,” he said.

The government will continue to introduce measures to support domestic consumption, which makes up half of the economy, and tourism, Arkhom said.

Later on Monday, the cabinet will consider planned tax breaks to increase spending, which is estimated to add 120 billion baht ($3.9 billion) into the economy.

The ministry will speed up government spending, which accounts for 20% of GDP, including a delayed 400 billion baht budget earmarked for reviving the economy under a bigger 1 trillion baht borrowing plan, Arkhom said.

Regarding a persistently strong baht, Arkhom said it is “an unresolved problem” and the ministry will closely
monitor.

“But the central bank will take care of it,” he said, speaking after the baht hit a more than two-week high last week.

Longer-term measures will include reopening particularly to foreign tourists to help the economy to continue to expand next year, Arkhom said.

“Although the situation looks better next year and there may be a vaccine, it will still take one or two

(Bloomberg) — Thailand picked Arkhom Termpittayapaisith as finance minister to steer an economy facing its worst performance ever this year, following the abrupt resignation of his predecessor.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Thailand's transport minister, listens during an interview in Bangkok, Thailand, on Thursday, June 21, 2018. Thailand will seek bids in the fourth-quarter for a 180 billion baht ($5.5 billion) high-speed rail project that’s part of a wider plan for a train network to China. The bidder will build the first half of the network in Thailand, Termpittayapaisith said.


© Bloomberg
Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Thailand’s transport minister, listens during an interview in Bangkok, Thailand, on Thursday, June 21, 2018. Thailand will seek bids in the fourth-quarter for a 180 billion baht ($5.5 billion) high-speed rail project that’s part of a wider plan for a train network to China. The bidder will build the first half of the network in Thailand, Termpittayapaisith said.

The appointment, effective immediately, was announced in the Royal Gazette on Monday. Arkhom’s appointment comes after former banker Predee Daochai resigned less than a month into the job, citing ill health.

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Arkhom, a former transport minister under Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha’s military government from 2015-2019, will need to shape Thailand’s response to tackling the coronavirus outbreak that’s delivered an unprecedented blow to the nation’s trade- and tourism-reliant economy. He will also need to assure investors who have been dumping local stocks and bonds, while accelerating stimulus spending to revive growth and save millions of jobs at risk from the fallout of the pandemic.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy is on track this year for its worst contraction on record, with the Finance Ministry predicting gross domestic product will shrink 8.5%. Arkhom will need to work with Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwart-Narueput, who assumed the post only last week.

While the country has been comparatively successful in containing the pandemic and most business activities have resumed, the Prayuth administration also has had to contend with anti-government protests by student groups demanding greater democracy and curbs on the monarchy’s power.

The government has announced an economic stimulus program worth $60 billion and the central bank has cut interest rates to a

$1.6B USD in government savings bonds were successfully sold within a week of launch

BANGKOK, Thailand, Oct. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — SIBOS — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Bank of Thailand (BOT), the central bank, has successfully launched the world’s first blockchain-based platform for government savings bonds issuing a total of $1.6B USD within two weeks.

IBM Corporation logo. (PRNewsfoto/IBM)
IBM Corporation logo. (PRNewsfoto/IBM)

Leveraging blockchain technology on the highly secured IBM Cloud, the platform allows investors to benefit from speedy bond issuance, reducing a process that previously took 15 days to two days. The efficiency provided by blockchain also reduces operational complexity and the overall cost of issuing bonds.

According to The Thai Bond Market Association, the outstanding Thai bond market stood at $421B USD as of December 2019. Government bonds dominate the Thai market, with outstanding value of $157B USD in 2019 1, accounting for 37% of the total outstanding Thai bond market.

In the past, the sale of government savings bonds was a complex, multiparty, time-consuming process that relied on a non-real-time system, with duplicated validation steps and manual reconciliation prone to data errors.

As blockchain technology streamlines the processes of bond issuance for issuers, underwriters, registrars, investors and key ecosystem participants, the government savings bond platform now becomes an immutable, real-time single source of truth for network participants, which minimizes the redundant validation and reduces the costs of reconciliation. In addition, Thai investors can now purchase bonds up to the maximum value of their individual allocated quota from a single bank.

The effort to develop a secure and efficient government bond infrastructure involved collaboration among eight institutions including BOT, Public Debt Management Office, Thailand Securities Depository Co., Ltd, Thai Bond Market Association and selling-agent banks, including Bangkok Bank, Krungthai Bank, Kasikorn Bank, and Siam Commercial Bank,

By Sam Nussey and Fanny Potkin

TOKYO/SINGAPORE, Oct 5 (Reuters)Line Corp’s 3938.T food delivery business in Thailand is gearing up for a prolonged battle with players ranging from SoftBank-backed Grab to banks after a merger with a listings heavyweight and an outside capital injection.

Expansion in food delivery by chat app operator Line in its second-largest market comes as the sector grows globally through the novel coronavirus pandemic but as questions linger over how companies will turn a profit.

Fast-growing delivery business Line Man hopes its edge will come from last month’s merger with Thailand’s leading restaurant listings site Wongnai, in addition to leveraging Line’s 47 million Thai users.

“We can reduce costs a lot and that is the path to profitability,” Line Man Wongnai Chief Executive Yod Chinsupakul said in his first interview with international media since taking up the post.

The company is targeting 20 cities by year-end, from 15 now, and is moving more delivery in-house, Chinsupakul said, having relied on Hong Kong-based logistics firm Lalamove to scale quickly.

Line Man Wongnai has raised $110 million to fund its expansion from investor BRV Capital Management – the first of Line’s overseas businesses to raise such capital.

“The average price per item tends to be very low, therefore focusing on conquering volumes is the strategy to win,” said Alfonso de los Reyes, an analyst at Singapore-based venture outfit Momentum Works.

The merger has left loss-making Line with a 46% stake in the delivery business. It also delivers food in Japan and Taiwan.

Line is being taken private by SoftBank’s domestic internet business Z Holdings 4689.T in a deal raising expectations that the chat app’s operations will serve as a gateway to overseas expansion.

SoftBank-backed Grab also delivers food in Thailand, along with leftfield challengers like