Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Thai State of Emergency Updates

Here are some of the developments, closures and cancellations in the first hours on Tuesday after the imposition of emergency rule:

- Singapore and South Korea advised their citizens yesterday against non-essential travel to Thailand, raising concerns about further damage to the tourism economy. Australia and New Zealand, on the other hand, advised their citizens to "exercise a high degree of caution" if travelling to Thailand.

- The ratings agencies Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service both issued statements warning that rising political tension could undermine Thailand's current investment-grade credit ratings.

- Two companies _ the mobile phone retailer Jay Mart and the building materials distributor Siam Global House _ said they would delay plans to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand this year due to political uncertainties and market volatility.

- Local banks, including Bangkok Bank, Krung Thai Bank and Siam Commercial Bank, closed more than 20 branches in Bangkok around Ratchadamnoen Road for fear of violence in the area.

- ITU Telecom Asia 2008 was going ahead in Bangkok yesterday with no cancellations by the 179 exhibitors. "It's business as usual. Our business forums are fully attended by business executives and interested visitors," said Sanjay Acharya, chief of media relations of the International Telecommunications Union.

The four-day regional event is being held until Friday at Impact, Muang Thong Thani.

Mr Acharya said the telecom industry was beyond politics as the event was ultimately aimed at showcasing and promoting new technology.

But sources said there were few exhibitors from overseas except from NHK of Japan and a telecom operator from Russia. The atmosphere yesterday was quiet with few visitors.

The ICT had earlier targeted 20,000 visitors and three billion baht worth of business deals from the event.

- The Bank of Thailand said it had intervened in the foreign-exchange market to support the baht after the government declared emergency rule in the capital.

"The announcement [by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej] has caused the baht to weaken and be volatile, so we had to step in and support the baht this morning," said deputy governor Atchana Waiquamdee.

The baht fell to 34.47 against the dollar in morning trade, from 34.32 on Monday.

- Thai Airways International, Thai AirAsia and Nok Air cancelled some flights out of Hat Yai where 500 protesters forced the airport to close again.

THAI cancelled two flights from Bangkok and Hat Yai due to the Hat Yai airport shutdown. The cancellations affected about 750 passengers, who were given refunds or allowed to change flights.

- International airlines operating through Suvarnabhumi Airport reported no cancellations or reductions, and normal passenger traffic flows. Security measures were upgraded. No sign of trouble was seen.

- Flight operations through Phuket and Krabi airports remained normal. Thai Airways flights were still operating according to schedules, no forced delays as threatened by TG union members.

- The German Embassy has called off a scheduled Sept 12 press conference on the visit to Thailand of Roland Koch, the Minister-President of Hessen state.

No comments: