Africa-Israel Investments have signed an MOU with a local partner to purchase a 47-storey Bangkok residential high-rise for 1.7 billion baht.  Construction of the building began ten years ago, but was halted during Thailand’s economic crisis. Africa-Israel plans to complete the building and sell the apartments, which will cover an aggregate space of 67,500 square meters on 44 floors, as well as 4,000 square meters of commercial space on three floors.
A number of Thai exports to the United States are expected to lose tariff privileges today, when the U.S. places Thailand on its intellectual-property Priority Watch List.  Local analysts say the kingdom will be downgraded because of conflicts between the Public Health Ministry and U.S. drug companies following Thailand’s decision to invoke World Trade Organization rules allowing it override patent protection on selected drugs, as well as worsening copyright violation of audio-visual products such as audio CDs, DVDs and computer software. In recent months, U.S. companies and trade groups, including Levi Strauss, Philip Morris, the Cable Broadcasting Satellite Association of Asia, and the American Apparel and Footwear Association, have urged Washington to punish Thailand for failing to halt product counterfeiting. The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok is scheduled to hold a news conference later today to announce the downgrade.
The Nation

Krirk-Kiart Jalichandra, the former head of the Bangkok Bank of Commerce, was sentenced to an additional 20 years in prison on Thursday. Krirk-Kiart, who was already serving a 70-year prison term for providing phony loans to friends and associates that caused the bank to crash and helped to begin the Thai financial crisis of 1997, was found guilty of embezzlement and malfeasance. Krirk-Kiart is currently out on bail pending appeals in earlier cases.