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Nestle's Bt200m Protect ProSlim launch

Nestle (Thai) is pouring Bt200 million into the launch of Nescafe Protect ProSlim instant coffee in Thailand, in its world premiere as a coffee that helps people to look good.

McCann World Group is responsible for the campaign involving television commercials, cable TV, print, advertorials, a website, points-of-sale, posters, roadshows and on-pack DVD premiums. The campaign is geared to promoting good health and the Nescafe good taste.

Cut-price Au Bon Pain coffee deal

Au Bon Pain has unveiled a new coffee menu to appeal to a local clientele with the special price of Bt45 per cup, in a bid to increase local customers from 50 per cent to 60 per cent of the total as foreign visitors decline.

A new factory will supply 80-100 local outlets, as well as export to Malaysia. A new central kitchen on Rama III Road will cut costs. A new strategy will support the expansion of ABP Cafe (Thailand), the bakery chain's operator, after the economic crisis, general manager Wipa Boonpalit said yesterday.

Ministry may scrap rail-network fund

The Energy Ministry is ready to scrap the fund to help finance rail network construction, if neither the Finance Ministry nor the Transport Ministry wants it.

Energy Minister Wannarat Charnnukul said yesterday that the termination should not be done when oil prices are declining, as that would speed up the price fall and encourage more fuel consumption. So far, neither ministry has shown any intention to tap the fund, he said.

Retailers are charging 50 satang on every litre of biodiesel B2 and petrol sold - sending the amount to the Energy Conservation Fund, which has collected about Bt6 billion so far. Ending it would immediately pull the products' prices down by 50 satang per litre.

Bangchak Petroleum president Anusorn Sangnimnuan yesterday supported closing the fund, saying it would not affect the government's policy to promote biodiesel consumption, as the price gap between B5 and B2 will remain as high as Bt2.30 per litre - from Bt2.80 at present.

Bidding to open for half of maize stock

The Commerce Ministry will soon open bidding for 550,000 tonnes of maize from its 1.1-million-tonne stockpile in a bid to clear space for the upcoming harvest, Commerce Minister Porntiva Nakasai said yesterday. 

 The government has also fixed a guaranteed price of Bt7.10 a kilogram for maize, higher than the market price of Bt5. The price-support scheme will run from August to November. \

The guaranteed price for cassava has been set at Bt1.70 a kilo, targeting 30 million tonnes.

BTS names arrangers of Bt20-bn issue

Bangkok Mass Transit System has appointed Bangkok Bank and Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) as the arrangers of its unsecured, Bt20-billion bond issue. The proceeds will be used to retire existing debts. The issue, assigned an "A" rating by Tris Rating, is pending Securities and Exchange Commission approval. - The Nation 



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