Recovery likely to spur SBL demand

Monday, September 21, 2009

Newspaper section: Business

KGI Securities expects a jump in demand for securities borrowing and lending (SBL) activity over the next few months as the equities market continues to grow with the economic recovery.

Naruemol: Profit-taking after recent gains could bring opportunities for short-selling.

Naruemol Artamnuayvipas, KGI's executive vice-president for equity derivatives, said total short-selling volume as of June was 20.15 billion baht in the local market.

KGI, the local market leader for SBL services, had outstanding borrowings of 12 billion baht as of June, or 60% of the market. The brokerage expects volume to reach 25 billion to 30 billion baht for the full year.

Ms Naruemol said the company currently had 411 SBL accounts, up from 353 at the end of June. Local institutional lenders total 54, up 33% from June, while local institutional borrowers total 38 accounts, up 19%.

Individual accounts comprise the bulk of KGI's client base for SBL transactions at 301 accounts, up 14% from the end of June, of which 80 to 100 accounts are considered active.

KGI offers SBL services for 52 stocks, representing constituents of the SET50 index and for two exchange-traded funds: Thaidex SET50 ETF and the Mtrack Energy ETF.

PTT Plc, the largest stock on the SET by market capitalisation, was also the most active stock for borrowing at 3.84 billion baht in the first half, followed by PTT Exploration and Production (3.19 billion), PTT Aromatics (1.85 billion), Siam Commercial Bank (1.14 billion) and Banpu (1.07 billion).

In an SBL transaction, an investor holding a stock may agree to lend his holdings for a set period in exchange for a fee. A borrower can sell the shares in anticipation of further declines in share prices.

If share prices are lower when the borrower repurchases the stock, the investor reaps a capital gain. But if the market price is higher compared to when he sold the borrowed shares, the investor will book a loss, in addition to the borrowing cost of the shares themselves.

SBL services are likely to become even more popular over the next few months with the growing activity in the equities market, Ms Naruemol said.

"The SET index has already gained 56% for the year, and the index is now at a 13-month high. So there should be some profit-taking and a correction in the short-term, which will open opportunities for short-selling," she said.

KGI typically does not hold stock for SBL activities, but instead co-ordinates between lenders and borrowers to match transactions.

Lenders are typically mutual funds, provident funds, institutional investors and insurance companies, while borrowers vary between local individual investors as well as local and foreign institutions.

Foreign investors typically borrow for periods of around one month, while local institutions may take a two-week position while individual investors may borrow for just one week.

"SBL will become more popular in the future, as investors can use the service to short-sell or arbitrage among stocks TDEX, the SET50 index and SET50 index futures," Ms Naruemol said.

In Hong Kong, she noted, SBL activity accounts for as much as 40% of total trade on the equities market.

READ MORE - Recovery likely to spur SBL demand

Continental Tyres sets up B200m office

Newspaper section: Motoring

The new 200-million-baht Continental Tyres (Thailand) office consolidates the company's operational focus in Southeast Asia, say company executives. ''It was only natural that Continental Tyres would seek to strengthen its position in Thailand, given the kingdom's strategic importance and status as an important regional hub of automotive manufacturing,'' said Benoit Henry, vice-president for the marketing and sales business unit for replacement tyres in Asia-Pacific.

Celebrating the opening of the new Thai office, from left: Wiroj Wachiradechkul, CTT country manager; Benoit Henry, vice-president for marketing and sales, replacement tyres for Asia- Pacific; and Peter Hofmann, director of marketing, replacement tyres for Asia-Pacific.

‘‘It was only natural that Continental Tyres would seek to strengthen its position in Thailand, given the kingdom’s strategic importance and status as an important regional hub of automotive manufacturing,’’ said Benoit Henry, vicepresident for the marketing and sales business unit for replacement tyres in Asia-Pacific.

Continental, which claims to be the world's fourth-largest tyre manufacturer, has gained a foothold in the Thai tyre market through a multi-brand strategy covering the aftermarket in the mass market and in European passenger cars, commercial vehicles, off-road vehicles and pickup trucks.

Its flagship products based on German technology include ComfortContact1, SportContact1, ContiPremiumContact2 and ContiCrossXContact AT.

CTT country manager Wiroj Wachiradechkul will spearhead the Thai unit in enhancing and streamlining distribution, marketing and competitiveness through the dealership network.

''Our Thai office [Olympia Thai Tower on Ratchadaphisek Road, Huai Khwang] will bring us closer to our customers and enable us to better respond to their specific, localised needs,'' he said. ''Our image will be further enhanced through ... sponsorship of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.''

Continental's two divisions _ Passenger and Light Truck Tyres (PLT) and Commercial Vehicle Tyres (CLT) _ have plants in Petaling Jaya and Alor Seta in Malaysia for Asia-Pacific markets.

Continental will penetrate markets by establishing business relationships, staying close to its customers and delivering innovations employing German engineering, which accounts for a large share of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) market for high-performance vehicles, said Mr Wiroj.

Continental Tyres is an affiliate of Continental Corporation, which had sales of more than 24 billion last year as a top supplier of automotive brake systems, powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, vehicle electronics, entertainment systems and tyres.

READ MORE - Continental Tyres sets up B200m office

Mitsubishi launches flexible-fuel Lancer


Newspaper section: Business

Mitsubishi Motors Thailand yesterday launched its flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV), the first mass-production car in the Thai market that can run on all types of gasoline up to E85 fuel.

Nobuyuki Murahashi, president of Mitsubishi Motors Thailand, shows off the new Lancer EX, which comes with a 1.8-litre engine compatible with fuel up to E85. The 2.0-litre engine can run on E20. WISIT THAMNGERN

The FFV is part of the debut of the all-new Lancer EX, the ninth generation of the Lancer model which comes with a 1.8-litre engine compatible with fuel up to E85 and a 2.0-litre engine that can run on E20.

The Lancer EX offers four variants to meet customers' needs and lifestyles, with the retail price starting at 831,000 baht for the 1.8-litre engine model and 1.034 million baht for the 2.0-litre engine.

Pre-sale bookings will be taken starting today at Mitsubishi Motors' 129 dealerships nationwide while official sales will begin one month later.

The existing Lancer with a 1.6-litre gasoline engine remains on the market after the revised Lancer has been launched but with reduced retail prices, starting from 592,000 baht to compete directly with the subcompact or B-car segment such as Toyota Vios and Yaris and Honda City and Jazz.

The new generation's powertrain uses a new 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre aluminium block engine, which meets the EU emission standard step 4 (Euro 4).

Mitsubishi has developed the FFV engine for the Lancer EX by improving all parts susceptible to corrosion by all types of gasohol. Parts such as fuel tanks, valves, valve seats, pumps, delivery pipes and injectors are made of metal, rubber and plastic. The electronic control unit adjusts the amounts of fuel injected and the ignition spark timing automatically to provide the best performance regardless of what fuel types are used.

"I am very confident that Lancer EX which is rich in ingenuity and loaded with new technologies will satisfy the needs and aspirations of sedan drivers," said Nobuyuki Murahashi, the president of Mitsubishi Motors Thailand.

READ MORE - Mitsubishi launches flexible-fuel Lancer

Cambodia marks International Day of Peace

Monks pray for peace during an activity marking the International Day of Peace in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, Sept. 21, 2009.(Xinhua/Lei Baisong)

A monk (front) holds a banner while attending an activity marking the International Day of Peace in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, Sept. 21, 2009.(Xinhua/Lei Baisong)

Nuns sitting on rickshaws attend a parade marking the International Day of Peace in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, Sept. 21, 2009. (Xinhua/Lei Baisong)

Monks sitting on rickshaws attend a parade marking the International Day of Peace in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, Sept. 21, 2009. Hundreds of Cambodians joined the parade Monday. The International Day of Peace was first established by the U.N. General Assembly in 1981 as an opportunity for people around the world to promote the resolution of conflict and to observe a cessation of hostilities. (Xinhua/Lei Baisong)

PHNOM PENH, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 300 people from schools, universities, pogodas and NGOs as well as other international and social groups gathered in downtown of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh Monday to mark the International Day of Peace.

The "peace biking" celebration to mark Peace Day started from National Assembly to Wat Phnom and finally stopped in front of the Royal Palace. And before the end of the event, all marchers prayed at the famous spiritual sanctuary of Dorng Keu in front of the Royal Palace to beg for peace for all people around the world and at the same time, the Khmer Buddhist monks chanted Dharma for peace and non-violence for this day.

"We also appealed to our leader and world leaders to support and respect the peace principles in solving the conflict matters even in internal affairs or with neighboring countries," said a joint statement from the event organizer.

Prok Vanny, representative of the event organizer for the peace working group in Cambodia said that "today we all celebrated the world peace day. And we want to raise awareness for peace for all people and spread peace message for all Cambodians."

"We also want to contribute in building and keeping peace in Khmer society as whole, and also building peace for lovely world and peace for all," she added.

"We have to cooperate each other to work for peace, and our message for this year is that we have to strengthen peace ideas, and reduce the tension, solve the conflict with peace deal, terminate all violence and disputes in the whole world. And today is the day of no violence, and stop all armed clashes in the world."

The International Day of Peace was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982.

In 2002. the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace.

Editor: Li Xianzhi 

READ MORE - Cambodia marks International Day of Peace

Businessmen call off Asean forum

Political instability a major concern

Published: 21/09/2009 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: Business

Southeast Asian business leaders have cancelled their annual meeting set to take place in Thailand this year, citing the country's prolonged political strife and rising tension at the border between Thailand and Cambodia.

The Asean Business Advisory Council was scheduled to meet in Bangkok a few days ahead of the Asean Summit in Hua Hin late next month but its members recently decided not to hold the forum this year, said the council's chairman, Arin Jira.

The meeting was expected to draw about 500 leading executives from Asean members and trading partners to discuss economic prospects, update investment opportunities, and provide recommendations to governments on policies to integrate the regional economy, he said.

The political situation in Thailand has yet to stabilise and growing conflicts have triggered many uncertainties, said Mr Arin.

"Business leaders, therefore, had to rethink whether to come to Thailand because they are not certain about our capability to host the annual meeting," he said.

At the same time, the border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia also prompted the Thai government to decide this might be not the right time to hold the meeting, he added.

The Asean summit was postponed after anti-government red-shirt protesters broke into the summit venue in Pattaya in April. The Thai government then decided to switch the October summit venue from Phuket to Hua Hin for security reasons.

Mr Arin said that Vietnam, due to chair Asean after Thailand, would host the next Asean business council meeting late next year.

There would definitely be lost opportunities in terms of trade and investment talks from Thailand failing to hold this meeting, he said. Networking among Asean business leaders is also a key objective of the forum, he added.

While the economies of Asean members such as Indonesia are picking up and the global economy has stabilised, Thailand might miss the opportunity because of its unstable politics, he said.

Progress has not been made on Asean business leaders' proposals such as establishing Asean brands, forming an Asean joint-venture company to raise bargaining power in major agricultural products or setting up a credit financing scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), he said.

As the global economy remains fragile, offering financial assistance to SMEs is the most critical measure for the government to push forward, he said. In his view, all Asean leaders are aware of this issue. Asean aims to create the Asean Economic Community (AEC) six years from now but has made little progress on integration, he added.

READ MORE - Businessmen call off Asean forum

Prawit: No more fight [among Thais] over Preah Vihear


Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon on has ordered security officials to prevent Thai people from fighting one another over the Thai-Cambodian disputed border around Preah Vihear temple.

Yellow-shirt protesters of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) clashed with Si Sa Ket villagers on Saturday as they were trying to enter the disputed border area. The clash resulted in scores of injuries from both sides.

Second Army Region commander Wiboonsak Neephan will coordinate with the police, provincial governors and other agencies to prevent this type of incident from happening again, Gen Prawit said.

"The government, particularly the security units, will make sure the country will not lose its sovereignty. Everything must be done in line with procedures," said the defence minister.

He said it would not be necessary to deploy more troops at the disputed border near the ancient temple at the moment.

"Cambodia understands the situation in Thailand, and both governments have always been closely working together," he said.

Gen Prawit said he supported the idea of invoking the Internal Security Act during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit in Hua Hin and Cha-am next month, but it must not affect local people in the areas.

He said he had discussed this with Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, who is in charge of security affairs.

"I would like the red-shirt protesters not to gather when the summit is being held as it is an international event," he said.
READ MORE - Prawit: No more fight [among Thais] over Preah Vihear

Over 55,000 young women in Cambodia are trapped in sexual slavery

A means to an end

Monday, September 21 2009
Rachel Lamb, Asst. Life Editor
The Spectrum (Student's newspaper at the U. at Buffalo)

Girls and women are kept in steel cages in dark back alley slums until eager men are escorted in, pick one out and then give money to have sex with them on tattered cots.

This is reality for over 55,000 young women in Cambodia that are trapped in sexual slavery. It is estimated that 35 percent of those girls are younger than 16 years old.

Vintage On Campus, a student Christian group, is trying to end sex trafficking in Cambodia. They are teaming with Agape International Missions, which has a station in Asia where sex trafficking is most prevalent.

On Sept. 16, VOC held an event in the Student Union to raise awareness and money to help stop human sex trafficking in Cambodia. Members of VOC also rocked on a giant seesaw for one-hour timeslots.

“The seesaw was mainly to catch people’s eyes and have them come over,” said Jay Perillo, VOC’s campus minister. “But we also wanted to get the message across that we were ‘tipping the scales of injustice.’”

Many students milled around the event last Wednesday, where there were plenty of brochures, pamphlets and literature to read about the event. VOC also offered Web sites, like Agape International Mission’s Web site,, where people can make donations.

VOC also supplied orange bracelets, claiming that orange is the color of freedom. The group encouraged students to wear the color to show that they are a part of finding an end to sex trafficking.

“We need to do whatever we can to stop human trafficking,” Perillo said.

Along with the money raised by the VOC members and their sponsors, Perillo estimates that donations brought in over $1,000. All of the proceeds will go directly to AIM’s site to help rescue young girls who are sex slaves.

According to Perillo, AIM helps those who are enslaved by pulling them out of the alleys, educating them, and giving them food, shelter and safety in its Restoration Center in Cambodia. The program also provides therapy and spiritual guidance to the traumatized victims.

“[AIM] is a great organization and we want to help them in whatever way we can,” Perillo said.

According to its Web site, AIM has helped thousands of people and has opened over 600 churches in Cambodia since its inception in 1988 in California.

AIM also provides financial support, disaster relief, medical supplies and personnel.

The VOC is relatively new to UB. It was started in the spring 2009 semester. Dave Ashby, a UB alumnus and head of the set-up and teardown team, hopes that the VOC will make a difference with the sex trafficking in Cambodia.

“The VOC would like to eventually expand and do mission trips and raise more money,” Ashby said.

Ashby raised money and sat on the seesaw for an hour with a fellow member of the VOC.

“I wish I could have raised more, but I’m glad that I was able to help,” he said.

VOC would like to put together more events to help end sex trafficking not only in Cambodia, but also all over the world.

“I hope that VOC will expand over the next few years so that we can have more support on campus and so that we can raise more money for all the people that we want to help,” Ashby said.

READ MORE - Over 55,000 young women in Cambodia are trapped in sexual slavery