Thursday, July 27, 2017
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Grab app now spots unsafe drivers

Posted by pakin On July - 26 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Ride-hailing service Grab on Tuesday incorporated telematics into its mobile application to automatically spot drivers behaving unsafely, such as speeding, swerving and hard braking and accelerating.

The feature uses predictive data analytics to identify unsafe behaviour and “educate” drivers about ways to improve through weekly telematics updates.

The launch across Southeast Asia follows a successful trial in Singapore, where it was rolled out in June.

Grab said in a press release that the feature has helped reduce driver speeding by 15 per cent, instances of hard braking by 11 per cent and instances of sudden hard acceleration by 18 per cent.

 

Police are yet to determine whether a pipe bomb found near the MRT’s Thailand Cultural Centre station yesterday was linked to three recent bomb blasts in the capital.

“If they are related, we will treat them as one case,” national police Commissioner Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda said yesterday.

The three recent blasts in Bangkok involved the use of pipe bombs. The first blew up in front of the Government Lottery Office on April 5 and the second in front of the National Theatre on May 15. They were minor explosions that did not cause much damage. The third pipe bomb, at the Phramongkutklao Hospital on May 22, left 25 people injured.

Chakthip said the area where the pipe bomb was found yesterday – in wasteland in Bangkok’s Huai Khwang district – was now cordoned off for related officials to gather evidence.

On Tuesday afternoon, a motorcycle taxi driver who went to fish in the area, alerted authorities when he noticed a steel pipe with some attached wires.

Police and an explosive ordnance disposal team arrived in the area at about 2pm and after examining the pipe for more than an hour left without giving any details.

 

Trang’s inland treasures

Posted by pakin On April - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Beyond the beaches, the old walled town teems with historical and cultural charms

WHILE MOST of the travellers arriving in Trang quickly find a perch on the beach or head straight to the boats to go diving in the Andaman Sea, the tranquil town itself offers all sorts of landlubber delights.

Trang was a thriving trading hub in the days when it was known as Muang Thub Thieng, a port established by Chinese merchants.

In the days of the Sumatra-based Melayu Kingdom between 600 and 1200 AD, vessels docked there laden with kerosene for lamps and ingredients for making pastry. When they departed, they were filled with locally grown pepper.

In 1899 the area became the first place where rubber was planted in Siam. A man called Phraya Ratsadanupradit Mahison Phakdi brought the saplings from Malaya and built up an export business.

SIAM CEMENT GROUP (SCG) is studying expanding in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) through three core businesses – petrochemicals, packaging, and building materials – with the focus on innovative products.

“We are looking at the incentives and the infrastructure around the project before making a decision on investing in EEC. This may be ready when the government announces its investment to develop infrastructure in this area,” said Roongrote Rangsiyopash, president and chief executive officer of SCG.

The group is also branching out into Asean countries, with its eye on the petrochemical industries in Vietnam and Indonesia.

The group had budgeted Bt15.3 billion for Asean in the first quarter of this year, with almost all going to its cement business in Vietnam – Vietnam Construction Materials JSC.

About Bt300 million was earmarked for its packaging business, Indocorr, in Indonesia.

Its total 2017 capital-expenditure budget is up to Bt70 billion.

As the next step in Asean, the group will finalise its further investment in Vietnam’s first integrated petrochemical complex by midyear.

It currently holds 71 per cent of the Long Son Petrochemicals project.

Construction will commence at the end of this year and the project will be completed for commercial operations in 2022.

In Indonesia, the group is studying a second petrochemical plant with its partner, Chandra Asri Petrochemical. The group holds 30.57 per cent via SCG Chemicals Co in the first |plant.

The deal for the second plant may be finalised at the end of this year or next year.

“We believe that our investment in Asean will be a part of our drive for sustainable business growth for the long term,” Roongrote said.

Of the group’s Bt562.17 billion assets, Bt137.14 billion are in Asean.

SCG is standing by its growth forecast of 5-10 per cent this year after logging first-quarter increases of 6 per cent in sales to Bt116.26 billion and 29 per cent in net profit Bt17.38 billion from the same quarter of last year.

Both the petrochemical and the packaging businesses were in a healthy upcycle in the quarter.

Petrochemical sales rose 14 per cent to Bt54.27 billion, while net profit soared 49 per cent to Bt13.36 billion.

Packaging sales climbed 5 per cent to Bt19.84 billion and net profit gained 8 per cent to 1.69 billion.

However, its cement and building-materials businesses showed signs of slowing when the overall market contracted by about 7 per cent after the private sector delayed investment and the government delayed infrastructure projects.

The group’s cement and building-materials sales declined by 2 per cent to Bt44.82 billion and net profit shrank 25 per cent to Bt2.46 billion.

Up to 23 per cent (Bt25.91 billion) of its sales in the first quarter came from its operations in Asean and its exports to Asean.

 

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