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New Bangkok Metro Lines get $311 million financing from ADB

The number of private cars in Southeast Asia has more than doubled since 2000, and 30 million more passenger cars are expected to be added by 2040.

Asian Development Bank

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BANGKOK, THAILAND (4 June 2019)— The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement with a financing package of 9.9 billion Thai baht ($311 million equivalent) for the construction and operation of the Pink and Yellow lines of Bangkok’s mass rapid transit (MRT) system.

“Bangkok’s continued status as one of Southeast Asia’s global business hubs depends on relieving traffic congestion and increasing sustainable public transport services,” said Deputy Director General of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department Mr. Christopher Thieme.

“ADB’s assistance will catalyze commercial financing for Thailand’s MRT sector and help provide a wider choice of affordable and efficient public transport for Bangkok’s rapidly growing population.”

“ADB’s involvement as a lender enhanced the overall bankability of the project by providing a long tenor repayment profile. It will provide more flexibility on cashflow management and help mitigate ridership risk at the opening stage of the project,”

BTS Group Holdings Public Company Limited Executive Director and Deputy Chief Executive Officer Mr. Terence C. K. Kong

“This enables us to deliver a successful project and a public transport option that will be efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly.”

The agreement was signed by Mr. Thieme and Mr. Kong, at a ceremony in Bangkok. Senior officials from ADB and BTS Group Holdings Public Company Limited also attended the event.

ADB’s financing package is comprised of two B4.95 billion loans to the Northern Bangkok Monorail Company Limited (NBM) and the Eastern Bangkok Monorail Company Limited (EBM) for the construction and operation of the two new lines. These will add to the five existing lines currently operating in Thailand’s capital area.

The Pink Line, under NBM, will operate between Min Buri district in Bangkok and Khae Rai in Nonthaburi province, with a total length of about 34.5 kilometers (km). EBM’s Yellow Line will operate between Lat Phrao in Bangkok and Samrong in Samut Prakan province with a total length of about 30 km.

Bangkok is famous for its heavy traffic congestion with some studies including it among the most congested cities in the world.

The proportion of travelers using mass rapid transit as a share of total transit in Bangkok remains low as compared with peer cities.

The number of private cars in Southeast Asia has more than doubled since 2000, and 30 million more passenger cars are expected to be added by 2040.

Bangkok street traffic
The number of private cars in Southeast Asia has more than doubled since 2000

The new lines will help cut down on air pollution from vehicles and greenhouse gas emissions, while tackling traffic congestion.

NBM and EBM are special purpose vehicles established by BSR Joint Venture (BSR) to operate the Pink and Yellow MRT lines, respectively. BSR is a joint venture comprising BTS Group Holdings Public Company Limited, Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Public Company Limited, and RATCH Group Public Company Limited.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

Source : https://www.adb.org/news/adb-private-sector-financing-supports-two-new-bangkok-metro-lines

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Thai Baht currency control mulled by central bank

The Industry Minister proposed measures to help business owners, such as the promotion of Thai Baht as a currency for international trade to reduce the risks from US Dollar currency fluctuation

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK, 15th August 2019 (NNT) – The Minister of Industry has held talks with the Bank of Thailand’s Governor over measures to control the fluctuation of Thai Baht currency, minimize impacts faced by SMEs and promote the import of machinery during this time to take advantage of the stronger currency.

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Thailand’s dangerous debt addiction

Thailand is now a top-ten highest household debt country among 89 countries worldwide and third highest among 29 Asian countries.

Olivier Languepin

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Thailand’s household debt has steadily increased to 78.6% of the country’s gross domestic products (GDP), or Bt12.8 trillion in the fourth quarter of last year, according to figures from the National Economic and Social Development Council.

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Thailand’s four challenges : Debt, inequality, plastics and climate change

Thais tended to get into debt faster, for longer and for higher amounts. Indebtedness starts as soon as they begin to work at age 25 and can increase until 56 years old.

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Bank of Thailand Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob, in his speech entitled “Formulating for the Future of Corporate Governance”, delivered at the Finance and Beyond National Director Conference 2019 in Bangkok (July 24th), said Thailand faces four challenges that require good governance in businesses to address.

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