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Thai Junta tries to boost governance in state firms

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Thailand is seeking to set up an investment holding company next year for government shareholdings, part of a wider effort to improve the performance of state-controlled enterprises.

A law to boost the governance of such firms and enable the creation of the holding company may be enacted by March, according to Ekniti Nitithanprapas, the director general of the State Enterprise Policy Office.

“We’d like the holding company to work in an efficient way like Temasek or Khazanah,” Ekniti said in an interview in Bangkok on Wednesday, referring respectively to Singapore’s state-owned investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte and Malaysia’s sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

State enterprises are planning 446 billion baht ($12.5 billion) of investment in 2017, according to the policy office. That’s equivalent to about 3 percent of Thailand’s gross domestic product, underlining the importance of ensuring the companies are managed well.

The new law is supposed to create a policy committee and a master plan for the sector, as well as boost transparency, formalize the way directors are appointed and evaluate corporate performance.

“This reform is crucial for long-term economic development,” said Santitarn Sathirathai, head of emerging Asia economics at Credit Suisse Group AG in Singapore.

“Ministries are in charge of state enterprises and often wear too many hats as shareholders, rule setters and referees, which sometimes breeds conflict of interest and inefficiencies.”

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DEALSTREETASIA Pte. Ltd. is a news and intelligence platform providing reports on investments, mergers, acquisitions, private equity, venture capital, investment banking and the business of startups across the Asian region.

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Large Shopping Malls in Bangkok Will Be Closed until July 25th

Shopping malls under the Mall Group, including all branches of The Mall, the Emporium, Emquartier and Paragon Department Store, are also closed for 14 days, from today, except for supermarkets, food courts, pharmacy shops, eateries (take-out and delivery only), banks, mobile phone shops and vaccination sites.

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Large-scale shopping malls in Bangkok and in some dark-red zone provinces are now closed for two weeks, to comply with the latest COVID-19 curbs in 10 provinces.

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Downside risks loom for Thai economy due to Prolonged COVID-19 Outbreak

The most important issue for the Thai economy at present would be the procurement and distribution of appropriate vaccines adequately and timely.

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The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has revealed that Thailand’s economy faces significant downside risks, because a prolonged COVID-19 outbreak could cause the economy to underperform the baseline projection, squeezing business liquidity and slowing employment.

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