Today’s picks: 31 August 2017

span.p-content div[id^=div-gpt] { line-height: 0px; font-size: 0px;} Nifty
Current: 9,884 (fut: 9,880) Target: NA Stop-long positions at 9,825. Stop-short positions at 9,930. Big moves could go till 10,000, 9,775. A long 9,800p (7), short 9,900c (12) has breakevens at around 9,920, 9,780.
Bank Nifty
  Current: 24,308 (fut: 24,311) Target: NA Stop-long positions at 24,200.  Stop-short positions at 24,425. Big moves could go till 24,600, 24,000. Major resistance between 24,000 and 24,450, support at 24,220-24,225. The index may have a downside bias.
Ambuja Cements
  Current price: Rs 280  Target price: Rs 285 Keep a stop at Rs 277 and go long. Add to the position between Rs 282 and Rs 283. Book profits at Rs 285.
Hindalco
  Current price: Rs 236 Target price: Rs 240 Keep a stop at Rs 234 and go long. Add to the position between Rs 238 and Rs 239. Book profits at Rs 240. 
Tata Steel
  Current price: Rs 638 Target price: Rs 650 Keep a stop at Rs 632 and go long.  Add to the position between Rs 643 and Rs 646. Book profits at Rs 650.
Target prices, projected movements in terms of next session, unless otherwise stated

With DLF deal, GIC turns aggressive

span.p-content div[id^=div-gpt] { line-height: 0px; font-size: 0px;} Last week, Singapore's sovereign fund announced plans to buy 33.34 per cent in real estate major DLF's rental arm for $1.39 billion.

This was the fifth made this year and invested $1.69 billion, compared $257 million it deployed across seven deals in 2016.

With a few more in the works, seems to have turned aggressive in India.

Prayut slams Thaksin’s ‘tyranny’ tweet

“Let him do it. He has tweeted it. What would you do? If you want to believe him, it depends on you. Think about it. Use your brain,” Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha shrugged off a viral tweet by ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday apparently comparing the Thai authorities to tyrants in relation to the case against his youngest sister Yingluck who fled the country last week.

Gen Prayut suggested the tweet — Thaksin’s first in two years — would only be taken seriously by people bereft of critical thinking skills. Thaksin quoted a French philosopher to imply the military regime is using the justice system as a shield to serve its own ends.

“Let him do it. He has tweeted it. What would you do? If you want to believe him, it depends on you. Think about it. Use your brain,” Gen Prayut said.

Thaksin message, issued in both Thai and English on his Twitter account, read in full: “Montesquieu once said ‘There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice’.”

It came five days after Ms Yingluck was suspected of having fled the country to avoid a potential jail sentence for criminal negligence in a Supreme Court ruling on her administration’s rice-pledging case which the government claims cost it in excess of 500 billion baht.

Sources say she made her way to Cambodia where she boarded her private jet to Singapore before flying on to Dubai where Mr Thaksin, himself ousted in a 2006 coup, spends at least part of his time in self-imposed exile to avoid criminal charges in Thailand.

Railing against the provocative tweet, Warong Dechgitvigrom, a former Democrat MP, said Mr Thaksin was unable to bargain with the court of justice about his sister’s case so he tried to link the court’s judgement to the actions of notorious dictators from the annals of history.

“We must stand firm and help the country deal with these people by placing our trust in the country’s legal system,” Dr Warong posted on his Facebook page. “Any cheaters must be punished. Our democracy must be based on the public interest.”

“No tyrant would be as barbaric as a capitalist one, who only claims to hold elections and have a majority in order to commit malfeasance and exonerate themselves without a care for the public,” he posted.

Ms Yingluck failed to appear at the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions on Friday to hear the ruling in her rice scheme trial. Her no-show shocked the nation and triggered rumours the regime had abetted her escape to avoid political clashes and protests in the event she was found guilty and jailed.

The former premier, who was removed by the Constitutional Court in 2016 for abusing her power shortly before the Prayut-led coup, stands accused of dereliction of duty for failing to properly administer the rice scheme.

Prosecutors claim this led to corruption as well as mammoth state losses. If convicted she could face up to 10 years in prison. An arrest warrant was issued for her immediately and the court rescheduled delivery of its judgement to Sept 27.

Mr Thaksin has often blamed injustice in the Thai judicial system for his decision to flee and escape his trial.

He left the country in 2008 before the Supreme Court was due to hand him a two-year sentence for abusing his power in relation to a land deal in Bangkok’s Ratchada area.

Acting Pheu Thai Party secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai avoided referring to Mr Thaksin’s tweet yesterday. He said the party, whose future looks increasingly bleak given Ms Yingluck’s departure, will stick to its ideology of fighting for freedom and democracy.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minster Prawit Wongsuwon said Ms Yingluck’s escape would not undermine the public’s confidence in the government or the National Council for Peace and Order.

National police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda said yesterday officers are in with their foreign counterparts to find the clues about Ms Yingluck’s whereabouts.

His deputy, Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, is responsible for conducting the search, he said.

Sources close to the government and Shinawatra family suggested Ms Yingluck may have fled late last Wednesday or early the next morning.

Referring to the 14 people who are believed to have spent time with the former premier at a hotel that evening, Pol Gen Srivara said police are considering summoning them for questioning.

Prawit calm on Rohingya influx threat

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon does not expect recent clashes in Myanmar’s Rakhine state to cause an influx of Rohingya Muslims into Thailand. However, authorities have been instructed to prepare for the worst.

Gen Prawit, also defence minister, was speaking yesterday about whether the confrontation between Myanmar authorities and Rohingya militants will ease. Earlier, he met Myanmar’s Supreme Commander Min Aung Hlaing during his visit to Thailand to attend the Thai-Myanmar High-Level Committee (HLC) meeting.

Gen Min Aung Hlaing “insisted they can cope with the situation”, Gen Prawit said. According to media reports, at least 109 people, mainly militant suspects, have been killed during the clashes.

The supreme commander said Nay Pyi Taw is stepping up legal measures to deal with the latest violence and will work with its Thai counterparts to build a “peaceful atmosphere” along the border, defence spokesman Kongcheep Tantravanich also quoted Gen Min Aung Hlaing as saying.

In the view of Gen Prawit, one reason Thailand is unlikely to suffer an impact from the unrest is the remoteness of Rakhine state where the clashes erupted. The state is situated in the northwest of Myanmar.

Given Myanmar’s attempts to prevent the clashes from escalating, the deputy prime minister does not believe Rohingya Muslims will be forced to travel by sea to Thailand. Though Gen Prawit played down the situation, Thai authorities have been told to brace for a scenario in which displaced Rohingya migrants enter Thailand.

“If we don’t make any preparations, what if it [the displacement] occurs?” Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said before his meeting with Gen Min Aung Hlaing yesterday.

Thailand adheres to humanitarian principles in giving help to displaced people and refugees, but once problems in their countries ease, they must return to their homes, Gen Prayut said.

Thailand is often viewed as a transit point by Rohingya migrants before they travel on to third countries. The ethnic minority group will be given help while taking refuge here, but “they are not allowed to stay in the country”, Gen Prawit said.

The government has gradually sent back ethnic minority groups that were displaced by internal conflicts to Myanmar. According to officials, the first batch of 71 people returned to their homes in October last year and a following group of 247 people will follow suit.

Myanmar delegates, led by Gen Min Aung Hlaing, and Thai authorities reportedly expressed satisfaction at the repatriation process during the three-day HLC meeting in Khon Kaen, which ended yesterday.

The meeting was aimed at boosting cooperation between the two countries over various issues including drug operations and the treatment of refugees from Myanmar. Thailand has kept a close watch on Rohingya migrants after it launched a crackdown on human trafficking gangs which were exploiting the displaced Muslims.

According to media reports, the previous round of insurgent attacks in Rakhine last October drew a harsh military response which displaced up to 87,000 Rohingya.

Dentists want more tools taken off control list

Around 500 professional dentists submit a letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha asking him to issue a ministerial regulation exempting dental X-ray devices from the new regulation. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Controls on radioactive dental tools will be eased with oral tools removed from special watch-lists for industry equipment, the Office of Atoms for Peace (OAP), which regulates nuclear and radiation safety, said yesterday.

The move is being made in accordance with the new Radiation and Nuclear Regulation Act, it said.

The body agreed to take these tools off the control lists as the level of radiation they emit is low enough to be considered safe, said Atchara Wongsaengjan, secretary-general of the OAP.

Any dental equipment that yields higher levels of radiation will still fall under the control of the law, she said.

The new law sparked protests from professional dentists, many of whom see it as troublesome and expensive and claim the punishment for transgressors is unreasonable. They say the curbs are not needed as the risk to patients and staff who work with such equipment is negligible.

The law mandates violators can face up to five years in jail or a 500,000 baht fine.

As radioactive tools must now be registered with the Ministry of Science and Technology, critics complain of “overlapping regulations” that may complicate the work of dentists and eventually undermine the level of treatment they can offer.

They want Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who chairs the Commission on Nuclear Energy for Peace, to issue a ministerial regulation exempting dental X-ray devices from the new regulation.

Under the law, which took effect on Feb 1, only radiation safety officers (RSO) who have undergone rigorous examinations to obtain their licence can operate such machines.

This means dentists must hire a licensed staff or do the training themselves.

Paisal Kangwolkij, chairman of the Dental Council, said he was disappointed with the OAP’s decision not to remove all dental X-ray equipment from the control lists.

Citing international academic studies, he said dental X-ray tools are considered safe.

Dentists have vowed to continue their protests until the other side relents.