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Economics

S&P upgrades Thailand’s sovereign rating outlook top positive

The upgrade by S&P follows previous increases by Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and Rating and Investment Information Inc.

Boris Sullivan

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S&P said the positive outlook was a signal that the sovereign rating could be raised over the next 24 months “if there are clearer signs the key political players are committed to the current political framework and that abrupt and unexpected political changes become unlikely”.

S&P Global Ratings has upgraded its outlook on Thailand’s sovereign credit rating to positive from stable, but it cautions that a return to political stability will not be enough to spur an economy beset by external challenges.

“The positive outlook reflects our assessment that political uncertainty in Thailand has begun to ease with the return of an elected government,” S&P said in a release.

“With progress in implementing national reforms and strategic plans, we believe policy continuity and political stability will improve.”

S&P Global Ratings

The ratings agency has affirmed its BBB+ (unchanged) long-term and A-2 short-term foreign currency sovereign credit ratings, as well as its A- long-term and A-2 short-term local currency ratings.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said the upgrade by S&P follows previous increases by Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and Rating and Investment Information Inc.

Economics

The Future of Asia: greener but with a public and private debt hangover

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect storm, destroying jobs, worsening poverty and inequality, and creating a public and private debt problem—especially for countries and firms already in fragile financial health beforehand

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The Sydney Opera resumed live performances and the city of Melbourne recently hosted the Australian Open tennis tournament with fans (mostly) in attendance.

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Economics

50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.

The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.

Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.

The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.

The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.

The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.

Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.

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Economics

Customs Department Considers Measures to Help SMEs

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Customs Department is seeking ways to reduce the impact of the exemption on import tax and value-added tax (VAT) for imported goods worth up to 1,500 baht, as such measures are hurting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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