Thailand approves electric vehicle investment plans of Nissan, Honda

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai authorities said on Wednesday they have approved investment plans worth 29.63 billion baht ($888.2 million), including projects by two Japanese automakers to produce hybrid electric vehicles and batteries.

Nissan Motor (Thailand), a unit of Nissan Motor Co 7201.T will invest 10.96 billion baht in one venture while Honda Automobile (Thailand), a subsidiary of Honda Motor Co 7267.T will spend 5.82 billion baht on its project, the Board of Investment (BOI) said in a statement.

The agency said it also approved a tax break for Thai AirAsia X AIRX.KL's 9.25 billion baht plan to lease six Airbus A330 aircraft, and for Mars Petcare (Thailand)'s 3.5 billion baht investment in pet food.

The BOI said Thai and foreign firms submitted projects worth 284.6 billion baht in January-June, which it said was “close to” the amount in the first half of 2017, without giving the previous number. The board said the projects were mainly for Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), a centerpiece of the junta’s policy to lift growth and targets high-tech investment.

The agency is sticking to its target of securing 720 billion baht in investment pledges this year, up 12 percent from last year, as large applications are expected in the second half, it said.

Reporting by Aukkarapon Niyomyat; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Richard Borsuk