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» The Business Confidence Index rises 2 points in the Second Quarter of 2020

9th October 2020, Siam Ratings Agency Company Limited (SRAL) announced the result of the survey about WVB Business Confidence Index in the second quarter of 2020.

SRAL Co., Ltd. conducts the survey quarterly. The main objects of the survey are companies which have the most well- known brand, the largest number of Total Assets, Total Revenues and Employees. Being performed from the middle of August 2020 to the late in September 2020, the survey attracted 150 Companies which active in many different fields in Thailand, such as Agriculture, Automotive, Construction, Technology, Energy, Electronics, Telecommunications, Services… In particular, large and medium enterprises accounted for over 95% of total enterprises participating in this quarter.




According to the survey, the Business Confidence Index (BCI) in the second quarter of 2020 reached 124 points, increased by 2 points compared to the first quarter of 2020 (122 points), This shows that companies in Thailand have a positive perspective on the current economy. Most companies say they are still confident that the Thai economy will improve in the next phase. Besides, many enterprises still have a positive attitude about economic growth.



Summary of investigation results of 6 components building Business Confidence Index (BCI) in the second quarter of 2020 as follows:

- On the general economic situation of Thailand today:
22.67% of surveyed enterprise claimed that the general economy of Thailand is now better than 12 months ago, 49.33% said that economic conditions in Thailand remain and 28.00% of businesses think that economic conditions in overall are worse than 12 months ago.

According to the National Economic and Social Development Council of Thailand (NESDC), The Thai Economy in the second quarter contracted by 12.2 percent, compared with a decrease of 2.0 percent in the previous quarter. After seasonally adjusted, the economy decreased by 9.7 percent from the first quarter (%QoQ sa). In the first half of 2020, the Thai economy declined by 6.9 percent.

On expenditure side: export of goods and services, private consumption, and private investment continually declined, while public investment and government expenditure expanded. On Production side: the accommodation and food service activities, the agriculture sector, the manufacturing sector, the transportation and storage sector, the wholesale and retail trade sector, and the electricity and gas sector declined, while the construction sector, and financial and insurance activities increased.

Prediction of Thailand general economic situation in the next 12 months:

 85.33% of enterprises believed that Thailand’s economy would be better in the next 12 months, 14.67% said that the economy would remain unchanged, and 0% of businesses are worried about Thailand’s economy in the future.

            According to the National Economic and Social Development Council of Thailand (NESDC), The Thai economy in 2020 is expected to lie within the range of (-7.8) - (-7.3) percent, mainly due to (i) the sharp decline in numbers and revenues from foreign tourist, (ii) the severe recession of global economy and merchandised trade, (iii) the impact of the outbreak, and (iv) the drought condition. In all, it is expected that export values of goods, private consumption expenditure, and total investment will decline by 10.0 percent, 3.1 percent, and 5.8 percent respectively. Meanwhile, the headline inflation is expected to be in a range of (-1.2) - (-0.7) percent, and the current account tends to register a surplus of 2.5 percent of GDP.

Financial Conditions: In the second quarter of 2020, the policy interest rate decreased by 0.25 basis points and stood at 0.50 percent per annum.
At the meeting on the 20th of May 2020, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) revolved to lower the policy interest rate by 0.25 basis points, from 0.75 percent per annum to the historical lowest rate at 0.50 percent per annum. The decision based on the assessment that the Thai economy in 2020 would contract beyond the outlook presented in the previous assessment due to the severe contraction of the global economy and economic impacts arising from the implementation control measures over COVID-19. However, the more accommodative monetary policies were expected to alleviate the negative impacts as well as reinforce the previously announced fiscal, financial, and credit measures. In fact, other regional countries such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and South Korea also announced to decrease their policy rate in this quarter. The Federal Reserve (FED) of the United States maintained its policy rate at a range of 0.00 - 0.25 percent per annum and expects to maintain this target range until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is a track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals. Similarly, Australia, England, Canada, China, Japan, and New Zealand continually maintain the policy rate in second quarter of 2020.
In July 2020, Russia, Indonesia and Malaysia decided to reduce their policy rate by 0.25 basis points to 4.25 percent per annum, 4.00 percent per annum, and 1.75 percent per annum, respectively.

Plans to use employees:

In the survey: 29.33% of enterprises expected to raise human resources; 60.67% of enterprises planned to remain and 10.00% enterprises will reduce the number of employees in the future.

According to (NESDC), Employment: decreased for five consecutive quarters due to a decline in both agricultural employment and non-agricultural employment, while unemployment rate rising. Employment in Q2/2020 declined by 1.9 percent compared with a drop by 0.7 percent in the previous quarter. In details, employment in agricultural sector dropped by 0.3 percent; however employment in major crops seemingly recovered from the previous quarter such as maize and cassava. Besides, non-agricultural employment dropped by 2.5 percent, due mainly to a decrease in manufacturing activities, construction activities, wholesale, retail sales, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles activities, and accommodation and food service activities. The contraction in service sector associated with the COVID-19 as a result of travel restrictions and lockdown policies. Overall, the rate of unemployment in the second quarter of 2020 stood at 2.0 percent compared to a rate of 1.0 percent in previous quarter, while the average unemployment recorded at 745,176 persons (the highest unemployment in 10 years) compared with the 376,926 unemployment in the same period last year.

Investment plans for fixed assets:

          56.00% of surveyed businesses planned to invest more costs for fixed assets, 40.00% of these still have no plan and 4.00% planned to reduce the cost for fixed assets in the next 12 months.

The belief in revenue growth:

          77.33% of participating enterprises were confident of an increase in sales, 20.67% of businesses said that the revenue would remain and 2.00% business is  concerned about the number of sales going down in the next 12 months.

The belief in profit growth:
78.67% of enterprises believed that profit would rise in the following year, 19.33% of businesses believed that profit would remain and 2.00% business is concerned about the number of profit going down in the next 12 months.

According to (NESDC), Economic Projection for the Thai Economy in 2020: The Thai economy in 2020 is projected to decline in the range of (-7.8) - (-7.3) percent (with the midpoint of -7.5 percent), compared with a 2.4-percent expansion in 2019. Headline inflation is estimated to lie within the range of (-1.2) - (-0.7) percent and the current account is anticipated to record a surplus of 2.5 percent of GDP.

In the press release dated on August 17th, 2020, the NESDC forecasted that the Thai economy is expected to decline in the range of (-7.8) - (-7.3) percent (with the midpoint of -7.5 percent), downwardly revised from the range of (-6.0) - (-5.0) percent (with the midpoint of -5.5 percent) in the previous projection, released on May 18th, 2020, together with the revision in key growth components to be consistent with changing conditions and revised assumptions as follows;

1) The downward revisions of the number of foreign tourists and foreign revenues was due to the delay in reopening to international travelers during the remainder of the year. The recent data showed that there is still an ongoing outbreak in many tourist origins, particularly in the US, India, and Russia, as well as the second wave outbreak in China, Japan, Hong Kong, France, Spain, and Australia. Under this condition, it is expected that Thailand will not be able to lift the travel ban for foreign tourists during the last quarter of 2020 as previously expected. The major origins of tourists also tend to adopt a high level of international travel restriction. Then, it is expected that that, in 2020, the total foreign tourists would be 6.7 million people, compared with 12.7 million people in the previous projection and with 39.8 million people in 2019. Meanwhile, the revenue from foreign tourists in 2020 would be 0.31 trillion baht, compared with 0.59 trillion baht in the previous estimate and with 1.88 trillion baht in 2019. Under such conditions, there will be significantly less driving force from the export of services, compared with the previous anticipation.

2) The global economy and trade in 2020 were expected to decline by 4.5 percent and 12.0 percent respectively, revised downwardly from a 2.8-percent and a 10.0-percent contractions. This revision was owing to (i) the lowest contraction and recession in several economies in the second quarter, (ii) the tendency of the more-severe-than-expected outbreak in some countries during the latter half of 2020, and (iii) the second wave outbreak in many countries. Under such conditions, many economies tend to not fully recover as expected in the previous projection. Nonetheless, the spread of coronavirus is projected to be less in severity and impact than in the first half of 2020.








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Siam Ratings Agency Company Limited.
78/11-12 Moo 5, Sub-District Angsila,
District Meuang Chonburi 20000, Thailand.

Website: http://www.siamcr.com
Tel: (+66) 38 397 457.