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  • Thailand discovers five new cases of coronavirus in state quarantine on Wednesday

    Thailand’s government said on Wednesday that it had discovered five cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours in state quarantine. One of the patients is American while the rest are Thai returnees from Egypt (3) and India (1).    The new discoveries bring the total number of cases up to 3,356 cases. There are […]

    The post Thailand discovers five new cases of coronavirus in state quarantine on Wednesday appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    Thailand’s government said on Wednesday that it had discovered five cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours in state quarantine.

    One of the patients is American while the rest are Thai returnees from Egypt (3) and India (1).   

    The new discoveries bring the total number of cases up to 3,356 cases.

    There are no new fatalities leaving the death toll at 58.

    Six people have recovered in the past 24 hours. The total number of discharged patients is now at 3,169.

    Currently, 129 people remain in hospital.

    Global situation

    There are now more than 20.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases globally. On Wednesday, it was reported that 264,881 cases were found within the past 24 hours.

    More than 13.4 million people (65.5 per cent) have recovered from the infection and more than 745,000 (3.6 per cent) have died from the disease.

    Currently, there are around 64,500 patients being treated as severe cases.

    More than half of the global confirmed cases were found in three countries. There were more than 5.3 million confirmed cases in the US alone, followed by 3.1 million in Brazil and 2.3 million in India.

    India reported 61,252 confirmed cases and 835 deaths on Wednesday, followed by Brazil (54,923 / 1,242) and the US (54,511 / 1,557).

    The post Thailand discovers five new cases of coronavirus in state quarantine on Wednesday appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    12 August 2020
    Covid-19
    https://www.thaienquirer.com/?p=16921
  • Student leaders say they are unconcerned with politicians urging caution

    Student leaders told Thai Enquirer on Wednesday that they were unconcerned with political parties urging caution after a controversial rally on Monday which touched upon previously taboo topics in Thai society. Up to 10,000 students gathered on campus at Thammasat University – Rangsit on Monday to call for a change in government with many students […]

    The post Student leaders say they are unconcerned with politicians urging caution appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    Student leaders told Thai Enquirer on Wednesday that they were unconcerned with political parties urging caution after a controversial rally on Monday which touched upon previously taboo topics in Thai society.

    Up to 10,000 students gathered on campus at Thammasat University – Rangsit on Monday to call for a change in government with many students saying that the Prayut Chan-ocha administration was undemocratic.

    The students called for a rewrite of the military-drafted constitution, the dissolution of parliament and the end to the harassment of activists by the state. As the rallied continued, many speakers also touched on the role of the Thai monarchy in politics.

    Politics

    Politicians on Tuesday cautioned the students about involving the royal institution and urged the students to keep their criticisms of the government within the realm of politics.

    Korn Chatikavanij, leader of the Kla Party, said that he did not want to see history repeating itself and advised the students to, “avoid insults towards the institution and conduct rallies within the boundary of the law.”

    Korn was alluding to the October 6, 1976 student massacre where royalist mobs and the army crushed student rallies and lynched many students in public squares. The Kla leader said a political rally is a civil right but the respect for other’s right to belief is also another civil right.

    “We respect differences of ideas and we must not violate each other rights,” he said. 

    He said the use of the monarchy institution to incite conflict will only lead to violence and that Thai society had already seen enough political violence over the past two decades.

    Patcharin Samsiripong, a Palang Pracharath Party spokeswoman, told reporters that the students were creating a “rift” in Thai society and that such rhetoric could lead to violence and instability. Members from the ruling party have called for police investigations into the student’s conduct and the arrest of all who had broken the country’s lese majeste law.

    The opposition, meanwhile, were non-committal with Pheu Thai Chief Strategist Sudarat Keyuraphan telling reporters that she wanted Thailand to still be a constitutional monarchy.

    Students

    Despite many senior politicians urging caution for the students, with the ruling-party openly calling for their arrest, student-leaders told Thai Enquirer that they would proceed ahead and that such criticism was ‘to be expected.’

    “They (PPRP) have used the security forces to arrest our leaders, issue arrest warrants against thirty student organizers, why should we listen to anything they say,” said one student protest leader in Ubol Ratchathani who asked not to be named.

    “They are the problem, they are why we are protesting,” the student said.

    Other student leaders spoken to by Thai Enquirer echoed the sentiments and said that protests would continue without inhibition despite the warnings. A major rally is scheduled for August 16 at Democracy Monument with campus protests happening before and after the rally on the 16th.

    The post Student leaders say they are unconcerned with politicians urging caution appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    12 August 2020
    Current Affairs Main
    https://www.thaienquirer.com/?p=16917
  • Right-wing Thai media takes aim at student protesters arguing Monday’s rally had crossed the line

    Following a large student rally at Thammasat University on Monday, right-wing conservative media over the last 48 hours have taken aim at student protesters for involving the monarchy in politics and questioning the motives of the student leaders. Up to 10,000 students gathered on campus at Thammasat University – Rangsit on Monday to call for […]

    The post Right-wing Thai media takes aim at student protesters arguing Monday’s rally had crossed the line appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    Following a large student rally at Thammasat University on Monday, right-wing conservative media over the last 48 hours have taken aim at student protesters for involving the monarchy in politics and questioning the motives of the student leaders.

    Up to 10,000 students gathered on campus at Thammasat University – Rangsit on Monday to call for a change in government with many students saying that the Prayut Chan-ocha administration was undemocratic.

    The students called for a rewrite of the military-drafted constitution, the dissolution of parliament and the end to the harassment of activists by the state. As the rallied continued, many speakers also touched on the role of the Thai monarchy in politics.

    It was the last point which drew the ire of conservative news outlets with many saying that the rally had ‘hurt the feelings’ of the Thai public by involving the royal institution.

    News outlets like the pro-government Bangkok Post ran a headline on Wednesday arguing that the students had “crossed the line” and quoted military-appointed senators without interviewing any protesters.

    Government mouthpiece news outlets like The Nation and Manager both ran editorials questioning what was the ultimate aim of the student protesters while asking where the students had got the money to run their protest.

    Both Nation and Manager in the past have tried to link anti-establishment protests with “third party” sources of funding oftentimes relying on editorials and analysis pieces to connect political issues to exiled prime minister Thaksin Shinwatra.

    On Tuesday, Nation TV ran a piece asking “Who is the person trying to destroy the nation?”

    The post Right-wing Thai media takes aim at student protesters arguing Monday’s rally had crossed the line appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    12 August 2020
    Current Affairs
    https://www.thaienquirer.com/?p=16913
  • 7.5 per cent surge on MAKRO shares due to strong second-quarter results

    Siam Makro PCL (MAKRO) shares rose up by 7.45 per cent to 43.25 baht per share on Tuesday morning trade (11:00 a.m.), increasing by 3.25 baht from 40.50 baht. The rise reportedly came as a result of the company’s financial performance in the second quarter of 2020 which was better than expected. The earnings beat […]

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    Siam Makro PCL (MAKRO) shares rose up by 7.45 per cent to 43.25 baht per share on Tuesday morning trade (11:00 a.m.), increasing by 3.25 baht from 40.50 baht.

    The rise reportedly came as a result of the company’s financial performance in the second quarter of 2020 which was better than expected. The earnings beat TISCO Securities’ estimate by 47.5 per cent and Bloomberg’s consensus by 28.5 per cent.

    MAKRO’s net profit in the second quarter of 2020 stood at 1,180 million baht, down 0.4 per cent year-on-year and 29.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

    The strong performance was driven by higher Same-Store Sales Growth (SSSG) and lowered Selling, General & Administrative (SG&A) rate due to reduced sales and promotional expenses.

    Three new stores opened during the second quarter; one of them is in Yangon, Myanmar. The MAKRO group’s stores increased to 136 in total.

    MAKRO announced a cash dividend payment for common shareholders at the rate of 0.40 baht per share on September 4, 2020, and scheduled for an XD sign on August 24, 2020.       

    According to the TISCO company note, the Gross Profit Margin (GPM) of MAKRO fell by 58 baht per share to 9.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter, in line with the estimate, due largely to the change in sales proportion.

    TISCO predicts MAKRO’s earnings in the second quarter to mark the bottom for the foreseeable future, as the COVID-19 outbreak lockdowns have been lifted and demand from household customers should improve.

    TISCO recommends to ‘hold’ MAKRO shares at the target price of 35.00 baht per share, while Finansia Syrus Securities suggests to ‘buy’ at the target price of 50 baht per share.

    MAKRO shares price opened on Tuesday’s afternoon session (2:30 p.m.) at 42.50 baht per share, increasing by 2.25 baht or +5.59 per cent.

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    The post 7.5 per cent surge on MAKRO shares due to strong second-quarter results appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    11 August 2020
    Main
    https://www.thaienquirer.com/?p=16907
  • Forums to communicate with protestors will be set up around the country within a week, Prayut said

    Forums will be set up around the country by mid-August to listen to the student protestors’ grievances and demands, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said on Tuesday. Prayut said last week that the government would set up forums to listen to the student protestors after three weeks of protests, which led to the biggest rally against […]

    The post Forums to communicate with protestors will be set up around the country within a week, Prayut said appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    Forums will be set up around the country by mid-August to listen to the student protestors’ grievances and demands, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said on Tuesday.

    Prayut said last week that the government would set up forums to listen to the student protestors after three weeks of protests, which led to the biggest rally against his government since the coup of 2014 on Monday.

    Prayut added that a political rally is a human right permitted under the constitution but if a protest went beyond its constitutional right then the law must be applied.

    “There must be peace and stability in order for the government to keep on fixing COVID-related problems,” he said. “There are many other people suffering who are waiting for these problems to be fixed, not only the new generation.”

    Prayut questioned the timing of the protests during the outbreak and stressed that if organizers and protestors violated the law, they will be punished accordingly.

    “The rally can be arranged wherever but if it is against the law, it is against the law,” he said.

    The protestors are now preparing for at least two more rallies before a bigger gathering on October 16, which includes the rally at Lumpini Park on August 12 and one at Chulalongkorn University on August 14.

    The student protestors have called for various protests around the country to come and join forces at the Democracy Monument on August 16.

    They are demanding parliament be dissolved to make way for a new election. They also want to rewrite the constitution and for Prayut’s administration to stop harassing dissidents.

    At the rally at Thammasat University, about 5,000 people signed a petition to amend the constitution. The goal for the petition is to reach 50,000 names and put pressure on political parties to push for an amendment in parliament.

    Prayut said last week that the government is willing to amend the constitution but this cannot be done within days or a month, according to the current constitution. 

    One of the protest leaders, Anon Numpa, a human rights lawyer and political activist, provided a deadline for appointed senators on Monday to step down by September 30.  

    Protestors said the 250 senators, who were all appointed by the previous junta, is one of the reasons why the current constitution was written and it is undemocratic.  

    The post Forums to communicate with protestors will be set up around the country within a week, Prayut said appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    11 August 2020
    Current Affairs
    https://www.thaienquirer.com/?p=16890
  • Managing-director of Italian-Thai receives prison sentence for illegal possession of rifle

    On Tuesday, Thailand’s Appeals Court sentenced Premchai Karnasut, the president of Italian-Thai Development Corp, to six months in jail for possessing a rifle without permission. According to local reports, the court charged Premchai under the Firearms and Ammunition Act 1947 for possession of a rifle in his villa in Bangkok. The crime is punishable with […]

    The post Managing-director of Italian-Thai receives prison sentence for illegal possession of rifle appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    On Tuesday, Thailand’s Appeals Court sentenced Premchai Karnasut, the president of Italian-Thai Development Corp, to six months in jail for possessing a rifle without permission.

    According to local reports, the court charged Premchai under the Firearms and Ammunition Act 1947 for possession of a rifle in his villa in Bangkok.

    The crime is punishable with imprisonment for a year under the Firearms Act, Section 7, 72.

    However, since the accused pleaded guilty, the sentence was reduced to six months in prison without parole.

    Premchai claimed the rifle belonged to his father and remained in the house after his death, but the court considered it contrary to the plea of confession and didn’t accept it for further consideration.

    The court granted bail on a 200,000 baht guarantee as he planned to appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court.

    Premchai’s attorneys are currently applying for bail which is in the process of approval.

    Premchai was convicted of trying to bribe park rangers at the Thungyai Naraesuan Wildlife Sanctuary in February 2018.

    Earlier on July 29, 2020, the appeal court upheld the one-year prison sentence imposed for attempted bribery by the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases. Premchai was later released by the court on 500,000 baht bail.

    The post Managing-director of Italian-Thai receives prison sentence for illegal possession of rifle appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    11 August 2020
    Current Affairs
    https://www.thaienquirer.com/?p=16887
  • No new coronavirus cases in Thailand on Tuesday

    Thailand’s government said on Thursday that it had discovered no new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases remain at 3,351. There are no new fatalities leaving the death toll at 58. There were three new recoveries in the past 24 hours. The total number of discharged patients is […]

    The post No new coronavirus cases in Thailand on Tuesday appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    Thailand’s government said on Thursday that it had discovered no new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

    The total number of cases remain at 3,351.

    There are no new fatalities leaving the death toll at 58.

    There were three new recoveries in the past 24 hours. The total number of discharged patients is still at 3,163. 

    Currently, 130 people remain in hospitals.

    The post No new coronavirus cases in Thailand on Tuesday appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    11 August 2020
    Covid-19
    https://www.thaienquirer.com/?p=16883
  • PTT net profit declines by 54 per cent while recovery in third quarter still challenging

    PTT PCL, the largest oil and gas company in Thailand, has encountered a drop in demand for both petroleum and petrochemical products, leading to a slump in their earnings amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the second quarter. PTT and its subsidiaries reported its net profit in the second quarter of 2020 with an amount of […]

    The post PTT net profit declines by 54 per cent while recovery in third quarter still challenging appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    PTT PCL, the largest oil and gas company in Thailand, has encountered a drop in demand for both petroleum and petrochemical products, leading to a slump in their earnings amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the second quarter.

    PTT and its subsidiaries reported its net profit in the second quarter of 2020 with an amount of 12,953 million baht, decreased by 53.5 per cent compared to 25,938 million baht of the same period in 2019.

    The Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization (EDITDA) of PTT in the second quarter of 2020 were 54,208 million baht, decreased by 26.6 per cent or 19,596 million baht year-on-year.

    According to PTT’s quarterly report, the main reasons why the company had a decline on its earnings compared to that of 2019 are lower selling prices and the overall sales volume of the gas, oil, exploration and production (E&P) businesses. 

    An increase in loss on derivatives and the asset impairment of E&P business in this quarter also negatively affected the earnings despite an increase in gain on the foreign exchange rate from foreign currency loans.

    First half of 2020 

    In the first half of 2020, PTT and its subsidiaries reported EBITDA of 86,593 million baht, declined by 67,734 million baht or 43.9 per cent year-on-year. 

    While the net profit for the first half of 2020 stood at 10,499 million baht, shrinking by 81 per cent or 44,751 million baht from 55,250 million baht compared to the first half of 2019.

    This was primarily from the stock loss in petrochemical and refining businesses in the first half of 2020. The crude oil price also sharply dropped (from US$ 67.3 per barrel to $ 42.1 per barrel) due to the oil price war, oversupply and lockdown measures.

    As of June 30, 2020, PTT groups had the total assets amounting to 2,449,277 million baht, decreased by 37,688 million baht or 1.5 per cent from the end of 2019.

    PTT shares 

    According to the TISCO securities’ report on Tuesday, PTT’s earnings were below their expectation. 

    TISCO said the recovery in the third quarter of 2020 would remain a challenging prospect as gas demand is expected to stay low due to seasonally lower power demand.

    Also, the contribution from PTTEP in the third quarter could be offset by weaker results from the chemical and refining affiliates.  

    Oil marketing appears to be the only clear bright spot for the third quarter as backed by an expected pick-up in volume and margin, according to TISCO.

    TISCO maintains the ‘hold’ rating at the target price of 37 baht on PTT shares. 

    Key upside risks are a sharp rise in crude oil and petrochemical prices; whereas, key downside risks are unplanned interruptions at its facilities and negative changes in the regulatory environment. 

    On Tuesday morning at 10:35 a.m., PTT shares stood at 38.25 baht per share, rising by 0.5 baht or +1.32 per cent from its prior closing price, with a high at 38.50 baht per share and a low of 38 baht per share. 

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    The post PTT net profit declines by 54 per cent while recovery in third quarter still challenging appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    11 August 2020
    Main
    https://www.thaienquirer.com/?p=16875
  • The News Summary – August 11

    The post The News Summary – August 11 appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    The post The News Summary – August 11 appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    11 August 2020
    Current Affairs
    https://www.thaienquirer.com/?p=16873
  • Opinion: Those cheerleading the students to confrontation must be prepared to face the same consequences

    I have been to every mass rally in Thailand since 2006. I have covered every rally professionally since 2009. In that time, I have seen crackdowns, airport closures, protest leaders openly asking for money, what felt like a billion whistles blowing my ear, but never the kind of rhetoric that was on display last night […]

    The post Opinion: Those cheerleading the students to confrontation must be prepared to face the same consequences appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    I have been to every mass rally in Thailand since 2006. I have covered every rally professionally since 2009.

    In that time, I have seen crackdowns, airport closures, protest leaders openly asking for money, what felt like a billion whistles blowing my ear, but never the kind of rhetoric that was on display last night at Thammasat University.

    For the first time in my experience and perhaps the first time since the mid-70s, Thais were willing to address, confront and talks bout the institutions that many had deemed too cherish and too sacred for so long.

    But last night a crowd of up to 10,000 students, workers, activists and everyday citizens cheered and applauded as leader after leader gave speech after speech about the need to transform the country into what could best be described as constitutional royalism.

    The fault of the state

    It is hard to gauge how widespread support is for such rhetoric.

    Certainly, there will be a section of Thai society that, while sympathetic to the democratic grievances of the students, is pushed away by the nature of the topic and its lack of orthodoxy in Thai political discussions.

    But measuring any sentiment is impossible because the state has built itself in a way where having constructive discussions is banned. Consequently, as a result, the topic can only come up in the extremes because of the ban on moderate discussion.

    If Thailand’s cherished conservative institution is discussed critically among the students, in a way that is unpalatable to older generations, the fault should be placed directly at those who built the system in the first place.

    Draconian laws have halted the need to discuss how to evolve old institutions when evolution was necessary.

    The courtesans, advisors, councillors and generals who declare their love for said institutions are also to blame for zealously defending, prosecuting those wanting to have open discussions.

    They’re also to blame for using the name of the institution for their own gains.

    They’re also to blame because of their needless involvement in governance and politics over the past four decades, all the while evoking the need to defend the institution, drawing scorn not only towards themselves but also to the institution in which they seek to defend. (See Apirat’s comments recently)

    Cheerleaders aren’t much better

    That being said, the cheerleaders egging the students on to carry out their own grievances aren’t much better.

    Towards the end of last night’s rally, Professor Pavin Chachavalpongpun called in to talk about the monarchy and its role in Thai politics. Pavin is currently living in self-exile, preferring to take his jabs at Thailand’s institutions from abroad.

    There are many more like him who escaped the confines of Thai society for the sake of self-preservation because they have broached the topic in the past. There is nothing wrong with that.

    But what is wrong is cheerleading the students on, knowing full well how the Thai state has historically handled such situations, while not prepared to face any consequence of their own.

    This criticism is not reserved for those living in exile and preaching to the student from abroad. There are many in Thailand who hide behind the keyboard, squealing in delight at how bold and brave the young of Thailand are, while not prepared to take to the streets and march alongside the kids.

    Make no mistake, if there is destruction at the end of this road, those that have advocated the loudest from the safety of their own homes will make grand gestures and mourn the passing of those killed by the state.

    In such a scenario, the most culpable party would be the soldiers and generals out for the blood of those that hold different opinions.

    But those mourning cheerleaders will not be far behind in taking the blame.

    The post Opinion: Those cheerleading the students to confrontation must be prepared to face the same consequences appeared first on Thai Enquirer.

    11 August 2020
    Current Affairs
    https://www.thaienquirer.com/?p=16868