Louis Vuitton, Volvo Tapping Thai Social Commerce Via Line Chat App | World News

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BANGKOK (Reuters) – Luxury fashion and auto brands in Thailand have turned to selling their products on Japanese chat app Line amid the coronavirus pandemic, tapping the country’s growing appetite for social commerce, a top executive said on Thursday.

Brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Volvo were among those that opened official accounts on the messaging app, which outranks Facebook’s WhatsApp and Rakuten’s Viber in Thailand, aiming to connect with users during a coronavirus lockdown.

“The luxury category was forced to adapt because their stores were closed,” Line Thailand chief commercial officer, Norasit Sitivechvichit, told Reuters.

Thailand earlier this year imposed a nationwide curfew and closed malls for nearly two months to contain infections.

“During the pandemic, sellers became very active,” Norasit said, adding that others sold cosmetics and fast-moving consumer goods.

Line, which charges sellers for sending messages and live streaming, said its monthly active users in Thailand grew from 44 million to 47 million this year, its second largest market after Japan.

Volvo successfully sold cars on the platform after launching in May and studying customer data, its Thailand head of marketing and digitalization, Jean-David Harel, said.

“We have an understanding of which models they own today, which interest they have and when they plan to change their existing car,” he said.

Social commerce is widely popular in Thailand, where merchants sell directly to customers through social media like Line and Facebook’s Instagram.

Line last year introduced a feature for merchants to organise inventory and online store fronts, which now has over 50,000 users.

Another tool to support sellers with customer relationship and data management is slated to launch next year.

E-commerce platform, JD Central would also launch services for sellers.

Line will soon introduce “MyRestaurant” with its food delivery app, Line Man Wongai, to support restaurants, Norasit

Thai Stock Market Overdue For Support On Monday

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(RTTNews) – The Thai stock market has finished lower in five straight sessions, sliding almost 45 points 3.4 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now sits just beneath the 1,245-point plateau although it’s expected to find traction on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat, with technology stocks expected to lead the markets higher amidst bargain hunting. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were sharply higher and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The SET finished slightly lower on Friday following losses from the financial shares and the energy producers.

For the day, the index eased 2.52 points or 0.20 percent to finish at 1,244.94 after trading between 1,241.66 and 1,256.40. Volume was 12.687 billion shares worth 45.623 billion baht. There were 898 decliners and 544 gainers, with 461 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info shed 0.58 percent, while Thailand Airport spiked 1.77 percent, Asset World tumbled 1.59 percent, Bangkok Bank lost 0.52 percent, Bangkok Dusit Medical fell 0.50 percent, Bangkok Expressway tanked 2.27 percent, BTS Group retreated 1.52 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods declined 1.77 percent, Kasikornbank collected 0.33 percent, Krung Thai Bank dropped 1.12 percent, PTT Exploration and Production plunged 2.12 percent, PTT Global Chemical sank 0.63 percent, Siam Commercial Bank surrendered 0.78 percent, Siam Concrete was down 0.62 percent, TMB Bank slipped 1.10 percent and PTT was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks showed a lack of direction early Friday but surged in the afternoon to finish solidly higher.

The Dow jumped 358.56 points or 1.34 percent to finish at 27,173.96, while the NASDAQ spiked 241.26 points or 2.26 percent to end at 10,913.56 and the S&P 500 climbed 51.87 points or 1.60 percent to close at 3,298.46. For the

EMERGING MARKETS-Asia lower, Thai baht declines ahead of c.bank decision

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    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I
    * Ringgit falls after Anwar claims parliamentary majority
    * Thai central bank decision around 0700 GMT

    By Anushka Trivedi
    Sept 23 (Reuters) - Asian emerging currency and stock
markets lost more ground on Wednesday, with the Thai baht
suffering from concerns about a struggling economy while the
Malaysian ringgit fell after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim
claimed he had a majority in parliament.
    This week's strength of the U.S. dollar continued to weigh,
with the Taiwanese dollar a consistent outperformer,
thanks to its tech-heavy economy, again the only outlier. 
    Stock markets were all down across the board, led by
Malaysia, with India bucking the trend thanks to signs
of more deals for the energy-to-retail conglomerate Reliance
, already the subject of major investment from
Facebook, Google and other big foreign players this year.

    The ringgit fell 0.7% to a near two-week low after 
Anwar said he had secured a strong majority from lawmakers to
form a new government, stoking more political uncertainty.

    The opposition leader's claim comes less than seven months
after Muhyiddin Yassin clinched the premiership following
political turmoil that saw the collapse of the previous
administration under Mahathir Mohamad.
    Malaysia's main index led losses on stock markets,
but the fall was linked to data showing August inflation stuck
in negative territory and worse than forecast.. 
    The baht dropped 0.5% against a buoyant greenback
with investors expecting a central bank policy meeting later on
Wednesday to lower the Bank of Thailand's economic outlook for a
tourist-focused economy that has seen no visitors since April. 
    But all 18 economists in a Reuters poll this week predicted
the bank would hold its one-day repurchase rate at
a record low of 0.5% for a third straight meeting.
    "Prolonged economic