The land of heroes
Our heroes
Our land
Cambodia Kingdom

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cambodia approves prisoner transfer deal with India

PHNOM PENH, The Cambodian government has approved an agreement that will enable transfer of prisoners between the country and India, said English-language daily newspaper the Phnom Penh Post on Wednesday.

"It is a response to international law," said Phay Siphan, spokesman of the Council of Ministers.

According to the agreement, if an Indian national were to be arrested, convicted and sentenced for a crime in Cambodia, he or she could be transferred to India to serve out the resulting sentence, and vice verse, he said.

Sau Raj Ray, first secretary of the Indian Embassy, said that a memorandum of understanding on prisoner transfer was once signed in 2007 when Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen visited India.

"This is part of an ongoing bilateral exchange," he said.

There are now 1,500 to 2,000 Indian nationals living in Cambodia, and in 2008 around 880 Cambodians visited India, he said, adding that there are no Cambodian prisoners in Indian jails and no Indian prisoners in Cambodian jails either.
Read more!

Cambodia plans to register chapei, khol with UNESCO

PHNOM PENH, The Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts plans to submit applications to register chapei, a form of sung storytelling, as well as khol, a type of theatrical performance, under UNESCO's Intangible Heritage of Humanity program, said English-language newspaper the Phnom Penh Post on Wednesday.

Meas Sarun, general director of technique of culture, told the newspaper that he did not know when the applications will be completed.

Meanwhile, UNESCO country director Teruo Jinnai said that the process of approving the applications will likely take about one year.

His office would assist in revising and polishing both applications before they are sent to UNESCO headquarters, where experts will evaluate them and then submit them to a vote by member states, said Teruo Jinnai.

Cambodia currently registered with UNESCO two World Heritage sites, namely the Angkor Wat and the Preah Vihear Temple, as well as two cultural entities including Royal Ballet and sbeik thom, a form of shadow puppetry.
Read more!

Khon Kaen Sugar Cuts Sales Growth Forecast to Zero

Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Khon Kaen Sugar Industry Pcl, Thailand’s biggest publicly traded miller, cut its sales growth forecast to zero from 20 percent as the global recession caps prices and said it may book losses on two overseas plants.

“Our sales may be flat or slightly higher” in the year to October, President Chamroon Chinthammit said today in an interview in Bangkok, the Thai capital. “We are being realistic as the price is not as high as our expectation.”

The global recession has hurt commodity prices, including for food staples, amid concern that reduced consumer spending will erode demand. There may be a loss between 30 million baht ($856,000) and 40 million baht this year from Khon Kaen Sugar’s two mills in neighboring Laos and Cambodia, Chamroon said.

“The outlook for Khon Kaen Sugar is not so bright this year, said Touchcha Pattarasaengthai, an analyst at Trinity Securities Ltd. “Operations in Laos and Cambodia aren’t very good,” and may lose a total of 150 million baht, Touchcha estimated.

Khon Kaen Sugar, which has a market value of 9.8 billion baht, lost 58 percent over the past year compared with the SET Index’s 45 percent drop. Eight of the 10 analysts whose calls are tracked by Bloomberg advise investors to buy the shares, which traded unchanged today at 6.35 baht at 10:23 a.m.

Global Recession

Thailand, Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy, may enter its first recession in a decade this quarter, according to the Finance Ministry. Recessions in the world’s largest economies will last for years, according to a forecast yesterday from BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward.

“We can’t say that the recession has no effect on us, although sugar is a food staple,” Chamroon said, without giving a 2009 profit forecast. Sugar and molasses accounted for 79 percent of Khon Kaen’s sales in the 12 months to last October.

The Laos and Cambodian plants may begin test runs in March instead of this month as originally planned, and have yet to start full production, Chamroon said. The delay was caused by regulatory issues, the company president said.

Raw-sugar futures on ICE Futures U.S. in New York have gained 6.6 percent over the past year, and traded yesterday at 13.5 cents a pound. The white-sugar contract on London’s Liffe exchange has advanced 9.7 percent and was at $391.10 a ton.

No growth in sales in the year to October 2009 would be Khon Kaen Sugar’s worst performance since 2005, when revenue shrank 5.7 percent, according to Bloomberg data. Last year, sales advanced 24 percent to 11.07 billion baht and profit rose 2.8 percent to 859.5 million baht.

Khon Kaen Sugar Assistant Vice President Chanachai Chutimavoraphand forecast in September that revenue may expand by a fifth this year. The gain would be driven “mainly by higher prices,” Chanachai said then, adding that some forward sales contracts had been agreed at about 13 cents a pound.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rattaphol Onsanit in Bangkok at ronsanit@bloomberg.net

Read more!

IMF warns global downturn poses risks for Cambodia

WASHINGTON, The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday warned that Cambodia faces "serious challenges" from the impact from the global economic downturn and financial crisis, which would significantly slow its growth in 2009.

In its annual review of Cambodia, the IMF said the crisis will potentially affect economic activity, capital inflows and the banking system in the southeast Asian country.

The fund suggested that any response by Cambodia should involve supportive fiscal and monetary policies, as well as improvements in financial sector oversight, public services delivery and competitiveness.

It said plans to ease fiscal policy in 2009 were "broadly appropriate" and recommended that the increase in government spending target social and infrastructure projects.

Turning to monetary policy, the IMF said it saw room for a moderate easing in interest rates as credit growth declined and demand pressures abate.

The IMF also called for greater exchange rate flexibility, calling it "the appropriate medium-term objective." (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Read more!