Bureau Chief, Thailand, Myanmar & Indochina, Bangkok, Thailand, Singapore
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May 28, 2015

Asia’s migrant crisis meeting unlikely to yield solutions

BANGKOK (Reuters) – A meeting in Bangkok aimed at addressing Southeast Asia’s migrant crisis is unlikely to produce a binding agreement or plan of action to save thousands of people believed stranded on boats in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, participants said.

Friday’s meeting will bring together 17 countries from across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and elsewhere in Asia, along with the United States, Switzerland and international organizations like UNHCR, the UN refugee agency.

May 22, 2015

Bangkok Bank sees 2015 profit up despite rise in defaults

BANGKOK, May 22 (Reuters) – Thailand’s largest lender
Bangkok Bank expects net profit in 2015 to beat the
previous year’s despite a modest rise in loan defaults as
Thailand’s economy goes through a soft patch, the bank’s
executive chairman said on Friday.

A spike in bad loans as consumers and businesses struggle to
pay back loans amid lacklustre economic growth is eating into
bank earnings in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

May 18, 2015

Export fall means 3 percent GDP growth ‘a challenge’: Thai central bank

BANGKOK (Reuters) – An economic growth rate of three percent for Thailand this year will be a challenge, the country’s central bank governor said on Friday, indicating Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy would expand well below the rate forecast by the government.

Thailand has been hit hard by poor demand for its exports, exacerbating the challenge the junta has faced in managing the faltering economy since seizing power nearly a year ago.

May 14, 2015

Send boatpeople back home, says Malaysia amid growing crisis at sea

KUALA LUMPUR/BANGKOK, May 14 (Reuters) – Malaysia said on
Thursday it would push boats full of migrants back to sea, a
policy that has drawn criticism from the U.N. refugee agency as
thousands remained adrift in Southeast Asian waters.

The UNHCR has said several thousand migrants have been
abandoned at sea by smugglers following a Thai crackdown on
human trafficking and has warned the situation could develop
into a “massive humanitarian crisis”.

May 1, 2015

Thai junta reforms to fail without better charter: former PM

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Any achievements by Thailand’s ruling junta while in power will be lost without significant changes to the country’s draft constitution, Democrat Party leader and former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Friday.

The military toppled an elected government last May and is engineering wide ranging reforms to heal the country’s deep political divisions.

Apr 29, 2015

Berlusconi meeting Thai businessman over Milan stake sale

ROME/BANGKOK (Reuters) – Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi met Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol on Wednesday to discuss the sale of a stake in Serie A football club AC Milan, which he has owned for almost 30 years.

A source close to Berlusconi said the meeting may not be decisive but would be “certainly very important”.

Apr 29, 2015

Berlusconi to meet Thai businessman over Milan stake sale-sources

ROME/BANGKOK April 29 (Reuters) – AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi will hold talks with Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol later on Wednesday to discuss the sale of a stake in the Serie A soccer club, two sources close to the matter said.

A source close to the former Italian prime minister said the meeting may not be decisive but would be “certainly very important”.

Apr 10, 2015

Suu Kyi’s political skills tested in pre-election showdown

NAYPYITAW (Reuters) – With an historic general election just seven months away, Myanmar opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is locked in a high-stakes showdown with a military-backed government she says isn’t interested in reform.

Some of her supporters within Myanmar’s pro-democracy movement have begun to question whether the country’s most popular politician has the political ability to prevail.

Apr 8, 2015

Russia eyes military sales to Thailand, rubber deals

BANGKOK, April 8 (Reuters) – Russia sees an opportunity to
sell Thailand military planes and other defence equipment,
Russia’s trade minister said on Wednesday, as the two countries
facing Western opprobrium seek to boost trade ties.

Thailand has stepped up engagement with both Russia and
China in response to cooler relations with old ally the United
States and other Western countries since the Thai military
seized power from an elected government last May.

Apr 3, 2015

Interview: Suu Kyi says boycott of Myanmar election an option

NAYPYITAW (Reuters) – Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said boycotting an upcoming historic election was an “option” if a military-drafted constitution that bars her from becoming president remains unchanged.

In an interview on Friday, the Nobel laureate told Reuters that her opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party was “ready to govern” but that President Thein Sein was insincere about reform and might try to postpone the election.

    • About Simon

      "Simon Webb is the bureau chief for Reuters in Thailand, Myanmar & Indochina and is based in Bangkok. Simon guides news coverage from five countries with top stories including the political unrest in Thailand and Myanmar's struggle to emerge from decades of dictatorship. Before taking on bureau chief responsibilities, Simon was Asia commodities editor based in Singapore. Members of his team were part of a group that won scoop of the year at Reuters' 2012 journalism awards for coverage of the impact of international sanctions on the flow of oil from Iran. Simon has previously worked in Dubai and London ..."
      Joined Reuters:
      English, Spanish
      Reuters C&E Journalist of the Year 2009
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