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Thailand plans more investment measures to support economy – The Journal Pioneer

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By Kitiphong Thaichareon

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand is planning additional measures to boost investment to support Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy hit by weak exports and a strong baht , its deputy prime minister said on Wednesday.

The country needs higher private investment, which has been low at only 16% of gross domestic product (GDP), Somkid Jatusripitak told a business seminar.

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“We have to stimulate private investment at a time of the strong baht,” he said. “I’ve already talked with the customs and revenue departments, and there will be a package,” he added.

The Board of Investment (BOI) is working on the package, which will be offered to firms that must invest within six months and install equipment within a year.

Thailand usually promotes investment with tax incentives. The BOI’s board will meet on the package early next month, the agency has said.

Last year, the government launched a relocation package, including tax breaks and special investment zones, to draw foreign companies seeking to move production due to Sino-U.S. trade tensions.

Thailand’s trade-reliant economy has been hit by global trade tensions. A strong baht, which was Asia’s best performing currency with a nearly 9% rise against the U.S. dollar in 2019, has cut export competitiveness.

In bid to lift growth, the government aims to accelerate spending of 1 trillion baht ($33.04 billion) in the current quarter, Somkid said.

Spending has been slow as the 2020 fiscal budget, which was due to start last October, just won parliamentary approval on Saturday. Budget approval was impeded by the delayed formation of a new government after an election in March.

Growth in the final quarter of 2019 was particularly affected by the delayed budget, which has stalled large investment projects, he said.

Official 2019 gross domestic product data is due on Feb 17.

The central bank estimated 2019 growth at 2.5%, a five-year low, and forecast 2.8% growth for this year.

(Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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Investment

Investment grade will boost realty

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The local property market stands to reap significant benefits, both short-term and long-term, from a likely credit rating upgrade to investment level for Greece.

Industry executives say that would be a very positive development, as, after 14 years, the Greek real estate market will return to the “elite” of investment destinations and it will become easier to attract foreign investment groups and funds.

“There is an objective problem right now regarding the implementation of investments by a number of institutional investors, as there are rules that prohibit the placement of funds in countries below investment grade. In other words, even if there was an investment opportunity and they were willing to take the risk, such an investment would be cut off by the investment committee of the respective group, because it is not allowed to invest in countries that do not have a positive credit rating,” Tassos Kotzanastassis, ULI global management committee executive and CEO of international real estate investment management company 8G Group, tells Kathimerini.

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Securing investment grade means the Greek property market will get back on the “radar” of large institutional investors and state groups that have a long-term investment horizon. This is a development that contradicts speculative moves by a portion of institutions that have been placed in Greece, with a purely short-term horizon, aiming to secure a quick profit and exit from the country.

However, as Kotzanastassis warns, new investments from large foreign funds should not be expected, at least not immediately. “In this period, at the international level, there is significant uncertainty and investors appear restrained. Many are looking for investment opportunities in the form of distressed assets,” he emphasizes.

One of the market’s perennial problems is it is shallow, so it is difficult to create economies of scale that maximize the return on an investment. Another key point is that all foreign investors of this scope are looking for properties with green characteristics, in the context of the ESG policy they follow. Such properties are still rare in this market, constituting a very small minority in relation to the total stock.

 

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Fidelity has cut Reddit valuation by 41% since 2021 investment

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Fidelity, the lead investor in Reddit’s most recent funding round in 2021, has slashed the estimated worth of its equity stake in the popular social media platform by 41% since the investment.

Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund’s stake in Reddit was valued at $16.6 million as of April 28, according to the fund’s monthly disclosure released over the weekend. That’s down 41.1% cumulatively since August 2021 when the asset manager spent $28.2 million to acquire the Reddit shares, according to disclosures the firm has made in its annual and semi-annual reports.

Reddit was valued at $10 billion when the social media giant attracted funds in August 2021. Fidelity — which has marked down its stakes in many startups including Stripe and Reddit in recent quarters — also slashed the value of its Twitter stake, it disclosed in the filing, valuing Elon Musk’s firm at about $15 billion.

The substantial markdown of Reddit’s value by Fidelity predominantly occurred by the previous year. Nevertheless, it merits pointing out that Fidelity has persistently implemented minor reductions in the worth of Reddit’s shares in the ensuing months. Fidelity, also an investor in Indian startups such as Meesho and Pine Labs, has effected considerably less dramatic valuation cuts in these holdings in the past two years.

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Reddit declined to comment.

This devaluation, part of a broader trend that has hit a variety of growth stage startups across the globe in the past year, raises uncertainties about whether Reddit will maintain its initial intent to reportedly go public at a valuation around $15 billion.

Reddit, which has raised over $1 billion to date, counts Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz among its backers. The firm was valued at as high as $15 billion in secondary markets late 2021, according to people familiar with the matter.

The current wave of valuation cutbacks sheds new light on the impact of deteriorating worldwide economic conditions on fledgling startups. Despite the diminished funding activities for startups globally over the past year, valuations of numerous larger startups have stayed constant.

 

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First Nations Technical Institute receives $3.5 million investment

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The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario is investing $3.5 million in the First Nations Technical Institute in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

The funding is planned to be used as part of the aviation recovery plan, after a disastrous 2022 fire destroyed a hangar and an entire fleet of planes.

Part of the funds is also going to support the institute’s green energy initiative, by developing solar panels and battery storage intended to power their buildings and offset greenhouse gas emissions.

Suzanne Brant, President of the First Nations Technical Institute, thanked the government of Canada for their help in recovering after the incident.

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FTNI is grateful that the Government of Canada is investing in Indigenous initiatives in
our region, providing benefits to Indigenous learners and communities across Ontario
and Canada
,” said Brant.

Brant also applauded FedDev Ontario‘s decision to launch a support team with dedicated resources to help indigenous businesses in southern Ontario. The new task force is connecting with indigenous lead businesses and has a new web page to show what resources are available to help them.

 

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