1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,647.28 points, increased 4.12 points or 0.25% with a trading value of 47 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market continued to receive a positive boost from China’s reopening that could potentially result in more travellers coming to Thailand. Moreover, foreign flows still support the market on long options and futures. The analyst recommended investors to monitor U.S. jobless claims tonight.
2) GULF expects to book THB1.8 billion of special dividend from INTUCH after disposal of THCOM
Intouch Holdings Public Company Limited (SET: INTUCH) has announced the resolution of its Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders that resolved to approve the disposal of Thaicom Public Company Limited (SET: THCOM), its subsidiary, to Gulf Energy Development Public Company Limited (SET: GULF), its major shareholder, at the amount of 450,870,934 shares or 41.13% of the total issued shares of THCOM.
INTUCH will receive THB 4,472.64 million from the disposal, considering the offering price is THB 9.92 per share.
After the announcement of the disposal, INTUCH also announced a special dividend payment at the amount of THB 1.40 per share to be paid on January 27, 2023. The ex-dividend date is January 10, 2023.
GULF is expected to receive over THB 1,800 million from the special dividend payout as a major shareholder of INTUCH.
3) Hong Kong to drop Covid tests for arrivals, vaccination pass
Hong Kong announced on Wednesday inbound travelers will no longer be required to take a mandatory PCR Covid-19 test on arrival, following mainland China’s direction in an effort to exit the stringent Zero-Covid policy that has held the borders closed for about 3 years.
The city’s vaccine pass required to enter most venues would also be scrapped, according to local broadcaster TVB.
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said the measures will take into effect December 29.
In a shocking policy shift, China this month began removing the world’s tightest Covid policy of lockdowns and extensive testing. Officials have announced that quarantine would no longer be mandatory for visitors entering the country as of January 8.
Travel restrictions between Hong Kong and the mainland were implemented in early 2020. Due to multiple outbreaks in Hong Kong and on the mainland, the reopening was repeatedly delayed.
4) U.S. considers new Covid rules for travelers from China
Officials in the United States are exploring new COVID-19 precautions for travelers coming from China, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.
The article stated that the government is worried about the increase in COVID-19 cases in China and has questioned the reliability of data the country is releasing on the spread of the virus.
The decision follows tighter regulations on Chinese tourists issued by Japan, India, and Malaysia within the past day due to an increase in infections in China.