For work hours, one size does not fit all

Published by
The Bangkok Post

A four-day workweek sounds pleasing to many and has gained traction in some fields as employees are hesitant to head back to the office. However, industry analysts and executives in Thailand are sceptical of a permanent shift in the nation. Tanit Sorat, vice-chairman of the Employers’ Confederation of Thai Trade and Industry (EconThai), said the pandemic caused the four-day workweek model to resurface or emerge in many countries. The core idea is employees are allowed to work four days a week and receive the same compensation if they are as productive as during a five-day workweek. Some locati… Continue reading “For work hours, one size does not fit all”

Tesla’s Confusing Hiring Freeze

Published by
ValueWalk

In his podcast addressing the markets today Louis Navellier offered the following commentary. Treasury Bond Yields Are Headed HigherThe 10-year Treasury bond yields are headed higher. It has not broken 3% but it woke up from a slumber and is headed higher. We’ve had higher bond yields in Europe in the last couple of weeks. That is why the Euro is strengthening against the dollar. And that’s why the European central bank will eventually have to go from negative to flat to positive interest rates. Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Central bankers cannot fight market rates. They ca… Continue reading “Tesla’s Confusing Hiring Freeze”

Britain is partying for the Jubilee. What’s next for the monarchy?

Published by
DPA

London (tca/dpa) — It’s been billed as the party of all parties, a star-studded four-day celebration of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch for her 96th birthday and 70 years on the throne. But the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, which has snarled traffic around Buckingham Palace, given Britons an extra-long weekend and will offer up performances by American, Irish and British stars — Diana Ross and Alicia Keys among them — has also underlined the question of what happens next for a monarchy seemingly inseparable from its aging head. As wall-to-wall live coverage began Thursday of the P… Continue reading “Britain is partying for the Jubilee. What’s next for the monarchy?”

NFT market sees first insider trading case in US

US authorities have charged a former manager at a digital exchange platform with fraud and money laundering, in what they said was the first insider trading case involving non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.Nathaniel Chastain was working as a product manager…

US authorities have charged a former manager at a digital exchange platform with fraud and money laundering, in what they said was the first insider trading case involving non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

Nathaniel Chastain was working as a product manager at New York-based OpenSea last year when he secretly bought dozens of NFTs that were about to be featured on the platform’s home page, federal prosecutors said in a statement Wednesday.

Chastain, 31, went on to sell the NFTs for two to five times the initial price after they got star billing at the OpenSea website, the criminal case against him states.

NFTs are tokens linked to digital images, collectable items, avatars in games or objects in the burgeoning virtual world of the metaverse.

“NFTs might be new, but this type of criminal scheme is not,” US attorney Damian Williams said in a release. “Nathaniel Chastain betrayed OpenSea by using its confidential business information to make money for himself.”

Chastain was arrested in New York on Wednesday on charges of wire fraud and money laundering that each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, prosecutors said.

US media reported that he was later released on bail after entering a non-guilty plea.

The arrest was touted by prosecutors as the first-ever insider trading bust involving digital assets.

“With the emergence of any new investment tool, such as blockchain supported non-fungible tokens, there are those who will exploit vulnerabilities for their own gain,” FBI assistant director-in-charge Michael Driscoll said in the release.

Part of Chastain’s job was to pick NFTs to be featured on OpenSea’s homepage, with the choices kept secret because prices typically jumped after they got top billing, the criminal complaint said.

The likes of Paris Hilton, Gwyneth Paltrow and Serena Williams have boasted about owning NFTs and many under-30s have been enticed to gamble for the chance of making a quick profit.

Prices have fallen and the reputation of the industry has been hammered for much of the year.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service

Slim prospects for consumer goods price drop for several months

The prices of many consumer products have been increasing, as the Thai Retailer Association warns that there is little prospect that they will come down in the next few months.Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit told the Lower House, during…

The prices of many consumer products have been increasing, as the Thai Retailer Association warns that there is little prospect that they will come down in the next few months.

Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit told the Lower House, during the debate on budget bill, that his ministry is seeking cooperation from producers to maintain the prices of 18 categories of consumer goods.

He claimed that the price of rapid antigen test kits has dropped by about 30% and Thailand is among countries with a comparatively low rate of inflation.

Somchai Pornrattanacharoen, president of the Thai Retailer Association, forecast that prices of many products are likely to remain high in the next three months, due to increasing production costs caused by global price increases, the war in Ukraine and sanctions imposed by western countries on Russia.

He also warned that the prices of several more products are likely to go up soon, as he advised consumers to adjust to the difficult situation by being more cautious in their spending.

The Commerce Ministry reported that the prices of 18 categories of necessities have increased, such as pork and chicken, which have increased by an average of 19% compared to last year, bottled palm oil is 26% up from last year and a 12% rise for canned sardines.

A pork vendor told Thai PBS, in a random survey of food prices in markets yesterday (Thursday), that pork bones have become a popular item among shoppers, as the price is about 100 baht/kg.

The price of pork, however, increased four times last month to about 200 baht/kg, compared to between 140-160 baht/kg previously.

The vendor said that customers tend to buy more chicken and pork, which is cheaper than red meat.

A food vendor admitted that he rarely makes a profit these days because of the high costs of pork and other food items, as he blamed the government for its failure to control consumer product prices.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service

Food prices double in Laos as inflation grips economy

Runaway inflation in Laos has caused prices of food, gas and other essentials to nearly double over the past year, some even within the last month, sources in the country told RFA.Inflation in the country is closely related to the value of the kip rela…

Runaway inflation in Laos has caused prices of food, gas and other essentials to nearly double over the past year, some even within the last month, sources in the country told RFA.

Inflation in the country is closely related to the value of the kip relative to other currencies, due to the country’s heavy reliance on imports for most of its consumer needs. On Friday, U.S. $1 equaled about 13,950 kip, compared with 9,420 kip a year ago, for a depreciation of about 48%.

The sudden rise in food prices is making life difficult, sources told RFA.

“On Saturday, May 28, 2022, I gave 2,000 kip [$0.50] to my 12-year-old son to go to buy some eggs from a nearby store for his lunch,” a mother in the capital Vientiane, who like all other unnamed sources in this report, requested anonymity for security reasons, told RFA on Tuesday.

“At first, I thought that with the 2,000 kip, my son would be able to buy two eggs. But, when he arrived home with only one egg, I was surprised that the price of an egg has now doubled since late last year,” she said.

Six months ago a pack of instant noodles in Vientiane’s Hatxayfong district cost 20,000 kip, now it costs 40,000, a resident there told RFA.

“The price of everything is doubling,” she said.

Pork in Pakse, a city in the southern province of Champassak, now costs 55,000 kip a kilogram (2.2 pounds), up from 30,000 kip, a resident said.

“Food prices are going up every day. The government must solve the problem,” the person said.

According to data from the Lao Statistics Bureau and RFA Lao, in just the past month, the cost to buy rice, beef, pork or eggs has significantly increased. Eggs have doubled in price.

Inflation is not limited to food. The price of gas rose for the 13th time this year on June 1, according to the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Regular unleaded gas increased from 23,770 kip per liter ($6.46 per gallon) to 28,070 per liter ($7.64/gallon)

Gas prices are so high that “a lot of people go across the Mekong River to visit [Thailand] and buy cheaper gas and other consumer goods,” a motorist in Vientiane told RFA.

“We have to adjust ourselves to the new normal, in other words to change our lifestyle,” Another motorist told RFA

“For example, I drive my car only when it’s very necessary and I sometimes drive to Thailand to buy cheaper gasoline, vegetable oil, fish sauce and other food items.”

A gas station owner in Thailand verified the trend. He told RFA that two weeks ago he noticed a sharp increase in customers from Laos.

“Most of them buy consumer goods and fill their vehicle tanks with gasoline on their way back home,” he said.

Public transportation costs are also rising.

“Starting June 1, 2022, a Laos-China train ticket to the capital Vientiane will be 242,000 kip at the sale office counter and 262,000 kip at stores, up from 198,000 kip,” a ticket seller in Luang Prabang City, Luang Prabang Province, said.

Train fares are out of reach for most people, a villager in the northern province of Luang Prabang told RFA.

“Most people are suffering from severe gas shortage and inflation, and now there are high train fares too,” he said. “I want to see lower prices because everything is going up.

Farmers in Laos have had to deal with a double-whammy of inflation and shortages of some products required to do their work. The combination has delayed plowing in the southern province of Attapeu, a provincial official told RFA.

“These farmers are poor and unable to afford gas. They just sit and wait for gas prices to come down,” he said.

Small businesses are also suffering in the harsh economic climate, a Vientiane businessman told RFA.

“One half of all SMEs [small-to-medium enterprises] are dead. They can’t survive the high gas prices and lack of business. The other half is struggling.”

The World Bank reported that inflation in Laos jumped to 9.9% in April this year from only 2% in January 2021. The bank recommended that the country stabilize the kip, push for more agricultural production, work to attract more investment and create more jobs.

A Lao financial expert told RFA that the country must change how its economy has operated to survive.

“One of the solutions would be that we should import fewer goods. We can’t afford to buy as much as before because we have less foreign money,” he said. “The other solution would be that we produce more domestically.”

Sonexay Sitphaxay, governor of the National Bank of Lao P.D.R., told reporters on May 27 that the government was trying several approaches to solve its problems.

“[We] are attempting to divert foreign currencies into the banking system from black market, punish money exchangers and manipulators, reduce the impact of inflation on society, negotiate with trade partners and convince them to accept the kip, and reduce the need of foreign currencies,” he said.

An economist told RFA, “First for most, the government should stabilize the kip, increase foreign currency reserve and expand economy in a sustainable way.”

But the recovery for Laos will take time, an Asian Development Bank employee said.

“[It] is going to be slow this year and in the next several years because of COVID-19, the stronger U.S. dollar and the crisis in Ukraine,” he told RFA. “While the buying power of Laotians is lower, the Lao economy may start up again in 2-3 years.”

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More than 2.4 million digital lottery tickets snapped up in just one day

More than 2.4 million digital lottery tickets were sold yesterday (Thursday), the first day of Thailand’s online lottery ticket sales, via the ”Pao Tang” application, by the Government Lottery Office (GLO) in a bid to address the overpricing of lottery…

More than 2.4 million digital lottery tickets were sold yesterday (Thursday), the first day of Thailand’s online lottery ticket sales, via the ”Pao Tang” application, by the Government Lottery Office (GLO) in a bid to address the overpricing of lottery tickets by unscrupulous vendors.

According to Lawaron Saengsanit, chairman of the GLO, 612,141 people bought 2,460,723 digital lottery tickets at 80-baht each, out of a total of 5,279,500 tickets available, between 6am and 11pm last night.

He said the public response to the online sale is encouraging, but whether digital sales will be increased in the future will be considered carefully, because the GLO wants to make sure that the conventional way of ticket sales, by vendors, will not be affected.

Yesterday’s sale was a good start, he said, adding that buyers can buy more tickets and can claim their prizes via application without delay.

Meanwhile, GLO director Lt-Col Noon Sansanakhom said the system will automatically notify buyers, via the application, by 6pm on the lottery draw day if they win a prize.

The winners can have the prizes wired into their Krung Thai Bank accounts, which are tied to the Pao Tang app or, in the future, other bank accounts. The winners will be charged 1% of the prize money plus 0.5% of stamp duty.

Alternatively, the lottery winners can claim their prizes at the GLO office, but they are required to notify the GLO when they will arrive to claim them, because officials will have to present them with real lottery tickets to enable them to claim the prizes. In this case, the winners will be charged only the 0.5% of stamp duty.

Winners who have chosen to have the prize money wired into their bank accounts will receive their money within 12 hours of notification.

The GLO director assured winners that they will receive their prize money, because the system has been checked and proved to be working without problems.

He made clear that all the lottery tickets put up for sale online belong to the vendors and that the GLO’s role is to facilitate ticket sales, to ensure that they are sold at the official price of 80 baht each.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service

Apply Quickly! Saudi Arabian Employers in Demand for Nurses, Nursing Assistants, and Technicians with Over 300 Positions Available Offering High Salaries and Benefits

Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin spoke about the progress of the policy of sending Thai workers to work in Saudi Arabia. He said that according to a report from the Labour Office in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, it was found that employers in S…

Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin spoke about the progress of the policy of sending Thai workers to work in Saudi Arabia. He said that according to a report from the Labour Office in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, it was found that employers in Saudi Arabia had previously reported the need for Thai workers in a total of 309 positions.

Mr. Suchart added that Prime Minister and Minister of Defense General Prayuth Chan-ocha, and Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan, who oversees the Ministry of Labour, have the policy to promote employment for all Thai people, especially the acceleration of sending Thai workers to work in Saudi Arabia. The Ministry of Labour has responded to the policy. Recently, employers have notified their demand for Thai workers through the Labour Office in Saudi Arabia. Most of the positions are in nursing, nursing mentors, and nursing assistants, with 100 positions each for 300 positions. In addition, there are nine other positions in the technician field, namely three welders, three control technicians, and three positions industrial electricians. The average wage rate is approximately 27,500 – 37,000 Baht, depending on the international currency exchange rate. When working in Saudi Arabia, employers will provide other welfare for Thai workers such as food, accommodation, transportation from the accommodation to work, a free annual round-trip airfare, health insurance, work injury insurance, holidays, annual vacation, and many other benefits.

In this regard, those interested in working in Saudi Arabia, please follow the news or job announcements from the Department of Employment periodically. Initially, you can register via the E-Service system of the Thailand Overseas Employment Administration at http://toea.doe.go.th, select “register,” and select “job seekers.” Workers can study the instructions on registering job seekers on the website. To follow the news, they can refer to www.doe.go.th/overseas or contact the Provincial Employment Office in every province or the Bangkok Employment Office Area 1-10 on official days, or call the Ministry of Labour’s hotline, on 1506, press 2 for the Department of Employment.

“The Prime Minister has an important policy to send Thai workers to work in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, he has emphasized an effective dispatching process through cooperation between the government and the private sector, whereby workers are paid fair and reasonable wages. This will increase the country’s competitiveness,” concluded Mr. Suchart.

Source: Ministry of Labour