#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.
MEA inspects water drainage facilities to avoid mishaps during monsoon
Jul 11. 2020
By THE NATION
The Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) conducted safety inspections of a drainage tunnel under Bang Sue Canal, the authorities said.
On July 9, Samrerng Chiewchukul, MEA deputy governor, together with officials from Bangkok Water Drainage Office inspected the electrical system in the drainage tunnel under Bang Sue Canal located in Dusit district to ensure that equipment is working optimally and safely during the rainy season.
“As the provider of electricity and related services in Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Samut Prakarn areas, MEA is committed to ensuring that all facilities related to public utilities are functioning at 100 per cent capacity, especially during rainy season when flash flood and heavy rains may damage electrical equipment,” he said. “MEA has dispatched staff to monitor 10 water drainage facilities and 492 drainage tunnels in Bangkok and surrounding areas to provide emergency services in case of equipment malfunctions at anytime of the day.”
If you witness damaged electrical equipment or powerlines at these facilities, contact MEA Call Centre 1130 or Facebook: @Metropolitan.Electricity.Authority, Line: @meathailand, Twitter: @mea_news or via the MEA Smart Life mobile application, which is available at http://onelink.to/measmartlife
#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.
Bangkok Land launches ‘Cosmo Walk’ in the heart of Muang Thong Thani
Jul 10. 2020
By The Nation
Bangkok Land is going ahead with its Bt400-million project to develop the “Cosmo Walk” in the centre of Muang Thong Thani as it expects that the reopening of the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Centre will help revive tourism and shopping activities in the area.
Peter Kanjanapas, vice president and managing director of Bangkok Land, said the company has invested more than Bt400 million between June last year and this month to develop the project in a bid to expand retail business in Muang Thong Thani. This project links the three shopping malls, Cosmo Bazaar, BEEHIVE Lifestyle Mall and The Portal with other long-established venues like Outlet Square and Popular Walk.
It also includes the fifth phase expansion of Outlet Square, the biggest sports outlet in Thailand covering more than 15,000 square metres and housing top sports and fashion brands, as well as a Bt140 million 320-metre skywalk connecting IMPACT exhibition halls to ibis Hotel and Cosmo Bazaar.
Meanwhile, it has spent Bt245 million to develop Cosmo Walk, a two-storey commercial building covering 6,800sqm, 4,500sqm of which is up for rent. Cosmo Walk currently houses a 1,300sqm Nike factory store, a Dohome outlet which sells construction materials and home décor products and Malaysian brand Mr DIY, which focuses on lifestyle products.
Cosmo Walk is open daily from 10am to 9pm.
“Cosmo Walk meets the demands of customers from all levels, though its main targets are residents, government employees, office workers, university students and professors as well as guests from Novotel and ibis Hotel. It is also a convenient meeting point as there is a skywalk connecting all buildings,” Peter said.
He added that since the Covid-19 outbreak is more or less under control in Thailand, it is expected that people will travel and shop more in the second half of the year.
Data from the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Centre also shows that there is an increasing number of reservations for trade shows, seminars, parties, wedding and other events, which should help revive businesses in the area.
The Thai economy stares at an uncertain future because the Covid-19 outbreak is likely to prolong until the first half of 2021, Krungthai Bank (KTB) said.
KTB president Payong Srivanich said during the bank shareholders’ meeting that commercial banks must beware of this factor, as it may cause non-performing loans (NPLs) to increase, adding that commercial banks must set up debt reserves to maintain stability in the long term.
“The bank will evaluate the situation periodically by focusing on preventing risks to maintain stability in the long term and adjust the loan portfolio to cope with risks,” he said. “In 2019, the bank had adjusted the direction by focusing on maintaining loan growth and reducing NPLs.”
He said the bank must set up more debt reserves from the second quarter of this year onwards to prevent risks and uncertainties due to the economic slowdown and coronavirus outbreak. He added that the bank had set up 100 per cent debt reserve to cope with risks from granting loans to Thai Airways International (THAI), which will be added in the second-quarter performance report.
“Risks from granting loans to THAI will cause less impact on the bank because we granted short-term loans to be used as circulating funds,” he said. “We believe that THAI’s rehabilitation plan will be approved by the court, while we will cooperate with creditors and debtors closely to maintain the bank’s benefits.”
He said the bank was waiting for the Bank of Thailand (BOT) to issue guidelines for the second phase of measures to help debtors, adding that the guidelines would help commercial banks to assist debtors in the same way.
“The bank will take care of customers as much as possible, such as postponing the debt payment, restructuring the debt,” he said. “BOT and the Thai Bankers Association will discuss this issue closely.”
He added that the meeting haD approved the allocation of net profits of 2019 for interim dividend payment.
“The bank’s net profit in 2019 was Bt26.325 billion of which Bt4.99 million was dividend for preferred shares, Bt10.523 billion was dividend for common shares, and Bt15.796 was remaining profits to be paid in the next period. Preferred shareholders will receive a dividend of Bt0.9075 per share, while common shareholders will receive a dividend of Bt0.753 per share,” he said. “We do not have to allocate net profits in 2019 as reserve funds because the bank has already allocated it.”
Four major players in the transport system have picked up bid documents for the MRT Orange Line which runs from Bang Khun Non to Min Buri.
Surachet Laophulsuk, deputy governor of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA), said four companies have picked up bid documents, which are available from July 10 to 24.
The companies are Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited, BTS Group Holdings, Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction and Bangkok Expressway and Metro (BEM). The MRTA has opened the bids for private companies to invest in the project and is hopeful that a foreign company will also be interested in the project.
They have until September 23 to submit their tenders, which will be opened by the MRTA on September 30. The route is expected to start operating in the next three years.
Jul 11. 2020A hackathon at Stony Brook University in New York. Before the pandemic arrived employers were increasingly using these competitions to search for talent, at a time when many say they’re skeptical that a college degree alone reflects a candidate’s ability to do a job. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Emma Harris for The Hechinger Report.
By Special To The Washington Post · Jon Marcus · BUSINESS
Among the many frustrations ahead for millions of Americans thrown out of work by the pandemic is one that may surprise them: To get a new job, it’s increasingly likely they will have to take a test.
As the number of candidates balloons while health risks make it hard for hiring managers to meet with them in person, a trend toward “pre-hiring assessments” – already underway before the novel coronavirus swept through the country – is getting a huge push.
With so many applicants, “you need filters,” said Richard Price, a research fellow at the Christensen Institute, which studies innovation. “You’re creating a quasi-audition for jobs.”
The recession and health crisis is speeding momentum for job tests that, before the pandemic, was driven by more than just logistical considerations.
Skeptical that university degrees are the best measure of whether candidates have the skills they need, employers were already looking for ways applicants could prove themselves – including in fields where that was not previously required.
“It’s like try before you buy,” Price said.
Growing equity concerns resulting from the explosion of racial justice protests now are also playing a role in this. They give companies another reason to stop relying principally on academic degrees when hiring, because candidates who are black are less likely than white candidates to have one, according to the U.S. Department of Education, for reasons including cost and access.
“With employers fielding a lot more applicants, how do we help create equitable processes for people at the top of the funnel?” said Stephen Yadzinski, who works on innovations in workforce technology for Jobs for the Future – an advocacy group that makes its own job finalists take on work-related projects as a part of the decision process.
By removing the requirement of a degree, this process holds the promise of opening doors to capable candidates who never got one, he and others said.
“We’ve conflated employability with university degrees. We shouldn’t,” said Jacob Hsu, CEO of Catalyte, which conducts tests designed to find job candidates who have the potential to become software engineers, whether or not they went to college.
If a college degree was the only measure of potential, he said, no one would have ever hired Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates or Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, who all dropped out.
Employers “are starting to recognize that there are people with the talent they’re looking for that don’t come from Harvard or the other colleges they have historically recruited from,” said Alex Linley, a co-founder and CEO of the testing firm Cappfinity.
Nearly one in four businesses now conduct such assessments, the National Association of Colleges and Employers reports; nearly 40% of hiring executives expect them to become widespread within three years and 70% within five, according to a survey conducted in 2018 by Northeastern University’s Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy.
Now, with far more applicants in the pipeline, “I only see pre-hiring assessment gaining momentum,” Price said.
An interview will still come at the end of that process, “but this is a way to cut 10,000 people to 1,000 and then figure out how to sort them,” said Jack Buckley, president and chief scientist at the testing technology start-up Imbellus.
Further driving this trend are advances in technology that make it possible to evaluate how people think and not just what they know, to paraphrase one testing company’s motto. The tests are designed to measure such things as whether applicants can work in teams, communicate and make good decisions.
It’s also a response to falling confidence in university degrees as measures of career preparedness. Only about one out of 10 business leaders in a Gallup poll strongly agreed that college graduates were ready for the workplace. Some employers, including Apple, Google, IBM, Bank of America and EY – formerly Ernst & Young – have dropped college degree requirements for some new hires altogether.
“There has been an inherent promise and almost the inherent contract of, ‘I’m going to go to this Ivy League university and then walk into a job by virtue of the pedigree I have.’ And that is no longer the case,” said Linley, whose tests present job candidates with scenarios they might confront at client companies – including EY, Deloitte, DHL and KPMG – and measure how they respond.
“There’s no trickery. It’s all very straightforward and transparent,” Linley said. “What we’re trying to do is provide a realistic job preview.”
In the past, employers that tested applicants for jobs would do such things as ask them to agree or disagree with a series of pronouncements, Linley said. Most candidates would naturally give what they assumed to be the answers the employer wanted.
Artificial intelligence, gamification and other developing technologies are giving rise instead to what experts call “situational judgment” and “scenario-based” assessment tests. Most require candidates to respond to real-world situations. One, developed for the McKinsey & Company consulting firm by Imbellus, puts them on a simulated coral reef or in a mountain valley where they have to work alone to save the endangered ecosystem.
“It’s not just, ‘Here’s my resume and here’s my degree’ and that’s your marker of talent,” said Caitlin Storhaug, McKinsey’s director of global recruiting communications.
Online forums to help applicants beat tests such as these have inevitably sprung up, along with coaching services to help candidates prepare for them; a human-resources executive at one large tech firm said it hadn’t moved to widespread use of pre-hiring assessments because of the potential that people would cheat. (The creators of these tests respond that AI lets them build in unpredictable twists and turns, and that they monitor response patterns and completion times to fend off cheating.)
The most sophisticated, customized tests are also pricey. “The difference between what we’re doing and the old-school way of hiring a person is cost,” Buckley said.
But it’s cheaper than hiring the wrong person.
Storhaug said though there isn’t yet a critical mass of results to quantify this, the people hired after taking the McKinsey test “do have really good problem-solving skills. There haven’t been mis-hires.” And as the cost begins to fall, Buckley said, “I don’t think [these tests] are going away.”
Employers also were starting to show up at events such as hackathons to watch prospective candidates show their stuff, under pressure and in real time – a practice interrupted by the pandemic but likely to resume when the competitions do.
At a hackathon at Stony Brook University before the coronavirus disruptions, for example, tech firm representatives prowled for talent among the 150 hackers from around the country vying for $5,000 in prizes that would reward their ingenuity and hands-on skills.
“A resume is a two-dimensional view of someone,” Ryan Behan, senior director of engineering at Netsmart Technologies, said as he gestured around the all-purpose room where the busy hackathon was underway. “You come to a place like this, you’re seeing them in their element.”
More than 10,000 participants got job or internship offers last year from companies they encountered at Major League Hacking events, the organization says.
Employers “get that one-on-one time with students and can watch them work through problems,” said Jonathan Gottfried, the official collegiate hackathon league’s co-founder.
Students say they like this route to a career.
“It was a much better way to show off what I can do” than by putting on a suit and sitting through an interview, said Adam An, a senior at the College of William & Mary who got an internship with Capital One through an encounter at a hackathon.
At Stony Brook, tired students sat behind laptops covered with stickers commemorating past hackathons, at tables dripping with colored wires. The daylight outside was kept at bay by shades pulled over the windows.
“This is the absolute best way you can demonstrate your skills, your knowledge and your drive,” said Muntaser Syed, a 36-year-old doctoral student in computer engineering at Florida Institute of Technology. “Staying up for 40 hours to build something shows how driven you are.”
Employers “can even test us here, and we can deliver and really show them what we can do,” said Aishwarya Kanchi Ranganath, 23, a graduate student in biochemical engineering at Rutgers.
And Donald Finlayson, a 21-year-old cybersecurity major at Johnson & Wales University, said a friend who has already graduated got a job at a company that “only asked him about the hackathons,” despite his long list of credentials.
Frank Jacovino, vice president of operations at IPVideo, circulated among the hackers as a judge and said he was keeping one eye open for prospective employees.
“We get lots of students that come in, they give us a resume, and ‘We took this course, we took that course’ ” – they all look the same,” Jacovino said.
“What we’re looking for is for the kids that are really passionate about the technology, going to hackathons or doing their own projects at home,” he said. “They’re the ones that we’re most interested in.”
The value of Thai electronics stocks has risen almost 20 per cent over the last month as European countries promote electric vehicles and the baht weakens, say analysts.
Among the beneficiaries is Delta Electronics (Thailand) (DELTA), whose share price has risen 14.68 per cent to Bt69.50.
Anekpong Putthapiban, assistant director at Asia Plus Securities, said electronic stocks gained positive sentiment from the baht falling to Bt31.2 against the dollar, European countries’ measures to promote use of electric vehicles, and moves around the world to ease disease controls.
“After many countries eased lockdown measures, investors may be thinking that the price of electronic stocks has bottomed out,” he said. “However, we advise people to avoid investing in these stocks because their price has reached maximum value, while these companies’ second-quarter performance is likely to drop.”
Meanwhile, a stock analyst at Capital Nomura Securities noted the price of Delta shares had risen by over 150 per cent from their low point in March this year, adding that the company’s performance is likely to recover faster than its competitors.
“We expect the company’s second-quarter net profit to be about Bt681 million, up 8 per cent quarter on quarter, but down 30 per cent year on year,” the analyst said.
“The company’s sales will increase by 4 per cent thanks to growth in telecommunications infrastructure and the European auto industry’s move to buy materials for electric vehicle manufacturing. Meanwhile, the company’s net profit in the second half of this year would increase in line with seasonal factors.”
The analyst added that Capital Nomura Securities has adjusted Delta’s net profit forecast from 16 per cent to 15 per cent in 2020 and from 12 per cent to 21 per cent in 2021.
“Aside from the recovery in automotive and telecommunication industries, the company also benefited from the weakening baht, so we expect Delta’s gross profit to increase from 20.5 per cent in 2019 to 21.2 per cent in 2020 and 22.4 per cent in 2021,” the analyst added.
The Finance Ministry has asked the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG) to guarantee Bt30 billion in SME loans, but will set up a separate Bt50-billion fund to support small and medium-sized businesses hardest hit by Covid-19 and the economic contraction.
Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said he has assigned the state-owned entity to extend guarantees for SME bank loans worth Bt30 billion.
“The pressing issue for SMEs now is lack of liquidity, and their next problem is how to use funding to upgrade themselves. We agreed to address their immediate problem first,” said Uttama after meeting with bankers and senior officials.
Once the existing fund is used up, then this further financial support may be extended, he added.
TCG president Rak Vorrakitpokatorn said guarantees for loans of Bt15 million-Bt20 million would be extended to eligible SMEs, down from previous programme’s Bt100-million limit. The Bt30-billion guarantee scheme will enable banks to lend up to Bt45 billion, benefitting 40,000 to 50,0000 SMEs, he added.
Meanwhile, Predee Daochai, Thai Bankers’ Association president, said that banks will look at businesses’ ability to repay debts before extending loans. He admitted that bad debt in the banking system was on the rise, but did not know by how much. The important thing was that the banking system was still functioning properly, he added.
Meanwhile, Uttama said the planned Bt50-billion SME support fund would be proposed to Cabinet in the next few weeks.
Thai SMEs have been hit hard by the Covid-19 fallout. The Bank of Thailand has rolled out a Bt500 billion programme of soft loans via commercial banks but only Bt100 billion in loan applications has so far been approved. Bankers wary of bad debts had asked the Finance Ministry to instruct the TCG to guarantee the loans.
By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Yakob Peterseil · BUSINESS, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS U.S. stocks traded mixed as investors considered whether a rising number of coronavirus cases will curb the global economic recovery. Treasuries jumped, with the five-year yield touching a record low.
Tech shares led declines, a dynamic that’s become increasingly rare as investors favored megacap companies seen as insulated from pandemic lockdowns. Most shares rose on the S&P 500 as the gauge fluctuated between small gains and losses after data showed record deaths in Florida, Texas and California from the virus. Gilead Sciences Inc. advanced after the company said its Remdesivir treatment cut covid-19 mortality risk by 62%. European shares edged higher.
With record deaths across America, as well as fears of a second wave in Asia, the spotlight is back on the spread of the coronavirus as investors head into the weekend. Fiscal and monetary stimulus buoyed markets thus far, but investors are looking for signals on what additional support may be in the works. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan, speaking on Fox Business, said he sees the need for more fiscal outlays.
“We’re going to see intermittent periods of shutdowns over the next year or so while we’re still grappling with this virus,” Erin Browne, a multi-asset portfolio manager at Pacific Investment Management Co., said on Bloomberg TV. “But I wouldn’t expect we’re likely to see a wholesale shutdown of the U.S. economy like we saw earlier this year.”
Elsewhere, China shares dropped as selling by state-backed funds signaled authorities wanted to slow the pace of gains following the Shanghai Composite’s eight-day winning run.
Oil traded below $40 a barrel in New York. In the U.K., yields on two- and five-year notes hovered near all-time lows amid speculation that the Bank of England may further ease monetary policy.
These are the main moves in markets:
– The S&P 500 Index was little changed as of 10:19 a.m. New York time.
– The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.5%.
– The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dipped 1.1%.
– The MSCI Emerging Market Index sank 1.3%.
– The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%.
– The euro decreased 0.2% to $1.1309.
– The British pound rose 0.3% to $1.2642.
– The Japanese yen strengthened 0.4% to 106.76 per dollar.
– The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell two basis points to 0.60%.
– Germany’s 10-year yield declined two basis points to -0.48%.
– Britain’s 10-year yield declined two basis points to 0.14%.
– West Texas Intermediate crude declined 0.1% to $39.58 a barrel.
Jul 10. 2020Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Friday meets with his economic advisers, business leaders and some ministers to discuss extra measures to support small businesses and people adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
By The Nation
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has changed the way he manages the economy by increasing collaboration with his economic advisers and business leaders.
Prayut postponed today’s meeting of the Council of Economic Ministers and instead held a meeting with his advisers, economic ministers and business leaders to discuss remedial and recovery plans after the Covid-19 outbreak.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, who leads the Cabinet economics team, also attended today’s meeting.
Somkid downplayed the postponement of the economic ministers meeting, saying that economic management would run smoothly as he knows both the PM’s advisers and business leaders very well.
“It is better for the PM to have all the information, including from outsiders, before making a decision on economic measures,” said Somkid.
“PM Prayut is interested in how to support small and medium-sized enterprises and we have already talked with the Finance Ministry about measures to support SMEs, which will be submitted for Cabinet approval once the PM agrees,” said Somkid. He added that the Finance Ministry cannot solve many problems on its own and needed cooperation from other ministries run by different parties in the coalition, such as the Agriculture, Commerce and Labour ministries. The PM, as leader of the economic team, was in a good position to secure that cooperation “because coalition government needs to move together”, added Somkid.
Kobsak Pootrakool, secretary of the Council of Economic Ministers and the PM’s deputy secretary-general on political affairs, said the prime minister has changed the way he works under the “new normal” by listening more to his economic advisers. Previously, Prayut was merely updated by senior officials and talked with ministers.
Kobsak said the PM’s economic advisers and business leaders have proposed establishing a centre for economy recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, similar to the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) which has won success in containing the outbreak.
Meanwhile Paiboon Narintarangkul, chairman of the Federation of Thai Capital market Organisations, urged the government to make Thailand the hub for regional finance and capital markets. Others have proposed legal reform in order to make doing business in Thailand much easier.
Other business leaders attending today’s meeting were Kalin Sarasin, secretary-general of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. Suphachai Chearavanont, chairman of the Council of Digital Economy and Society, Ghanyapad Tantipipatpong, chairmen of the Thai National Shippers’ Council, Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries and Predee Daochai, president of the Thai Bankers’ Association. Prayut’s economic advisers in attendance included Pailin Chuchottaworn, former deputy transport minister, Setthaput Suthiwart-Narueput, a member of the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, and Pirapan Salirathavibhaga.
The meeting came a day after the four ministers credited with running Thailand’s economy resigned from the ruling Palang Pracharat Party, though kept their seats in Cabinet. Prayut announced on Thursday he would reshuffle the Cabinet after talks with coalition parties. Prayut’s economic management has failed to impress observers since Thailand’s economy is currently the worst performer among Asean countries.