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BANGKOK

BUSINESS BRIEF

Vol. No. 2, Issue No. 5

Mid-April/Mid-May 2013

Read new business briefs everyday at www.BBBrief.com

Baht bubble? By Harry Dunne

Appreciation of the baht – What’s going on?

Inside General Interest Production Finance/Investment Government/Economy Retail/Services Tourism Real Estate IT/Comms The Chambers The Calendar

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could appreciate to 28.5 baht to the U.S. dollar by the end of 2013 and average 29.5 baht for the In 2005, the baht was 41.07 to the whole year. US dollar. In 2012, it was 30.63, and on March 19th, the baht Why? rose to 29.32 to the dollar, the highest it’s been since 1997. The Thailand’s economy has had a baht has risen 4.6% against the healthy recovery from the global US dollar in 2013, the highest in financial crisis and the flooding Southeast Asia. in 2011. Domestic consumption and domestic investment, And the Kasikorn Research Cen- combined with strong exports ter is predicting that the baht are driving the economy, which

grew 6.4% in 2012. Some analysts predict the Thai economy could grow more than 6% in 2013. The government is the most stable one Thailand has had since before the coup in 2006, and significant infrastructure development programs, up to 4.2 trillion baht in the next seven years, are about to get started in a country that desperately needs some infrastructure upgrades and improvements. Story continues on Page 20


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Briefs General Interest

http://goo.gl/ozbNM

10 Thai billionaires on Forbes’ list Ten Thai individuals appear in Forbes’ 27th annual billionaire list, including Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi who just completed the US$11 billion acquisition for Singapore’s Fraser and Neave. Top of the list of billionaires from Thailand is Dhanin Chearvanont, chairman of Charoen Pokphand Group, with a net worth of US$14.3 billion. Trailing behind is Charoen, with a net worth of $11.7 billion. Others are: • Thongma Vijitpongpun, CEO of Pruksa Real Estate, $2 billion • Krit Ratanarak, $1.95 billion • Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth, Bangkok Airways, $1.85 billion • Thaksin Shinawatra, $1.7 billion

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Mid-April/Mid-May 2013

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: • Vanich Chaiyawan, $1.4 billion • Keeree Kanjanapas, BTS Group... Full story at http://goo.gl/itDwi

Female execs share success secrets

Prominent female leaders have shared their insights and what they have learned while building successful businesses. The discussion, themed “Connecting Women: Inspiring Change, Making Progress”, was held by Citi Thailand to mark International Women’s Day.

...added that the company had set aside a significant investment budget of Bt200 million to Bt300 million for overseas expansion. Full story at http://goo.gl/bH6PF

Kobkarn graduated in the architecture field and then began her career with MBK. She decided to work at Toshiba Thailand, a joint venture between the Japanese electronics company and her family’s business, because she was taught by her mother that she should learn new things every day so she could... Full story at http://goo.gl/Xla8l

Unions appeal to embassies over abuse

The Thai Labour Solidarity Committee is leading 650 representatives from four labour unions to rally outside the Australian, US and Netherlands embassies against alleged abuse of Thai workers by employers from those countries. They will call for government assistance and later join others protesting against General Motors (Thailand) while camping out in front of Government House, TLSC chairman Kobkarn said her mother was be- Chalee Loysung told a press conferhind the success of her business ence at the Thai Labour Museum. because she taught her daughter to learn to love what she was doing. At least 40,000 workers have been Supaluck Umpujh, vice chairwoman of The Mall Group, and Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, chairwoman of Toshiba Thailand Co, credited their families for beginning their current businesses. Supaluck was encouraged by her father to study in the pharmaceutical field. Then she had the opportunity to join the family business in a top executive position.

goo.gl/bH6PF

treated unfairly after the Bt300 minimum daily wage was made countrywide in January, he said. Some companies outright refuse to pay the new rate, some increase working hours to nine without overtime, some reduce benefits and some close factories and lay off workers, he said. The TLSC has been flooded with 2,158 complaints from affected workers since the wage increase,... Full story at http://goo.gl/ltR5j

Bangkok is one of the most innovative cities

A recently-released ranking of the most innovative cities in Asia-Pacific ranks Bangkok 12th out of the 16 cities in the research. At a glance it seems that the city has unequivocally outperformed with no merit, but actually it ranked first in the society category, which included culture, value systems and ideology. Since Bangkok was never really colonised by any foreign forces, its society is one of the most open to the outside in the region. Bangkok is very... Full story at http://goo.gl/QIGvK


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Briefs 3

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-April/Mid-May 2013

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GE expands in Myanmar, but not at expense of Thai operations

Myanmar’s rapidly expanding economy has helped General Electric to grow its sales in the country quickly from zero to an equivalent of 10 per cent of GE Thailand’s sales last year, said the company’s president and chief executive officer for Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, Kovit Kantapasara. The US conglomerate expects its business in Myanmar to expand further to a size equivalent to 20 per cent of its Thai business this year, he said. GE’s Myanmar growth has not come at the expense of its Thai operations, which registered revenue growth of “several dozen” per cent, and nearly double-digit growth in orders last year, said Kovit, who succeeded Pornlert Lattanan as the chief executive of GE in the three Indochinese countries at the beginning of 2012.

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To read the fu ll article of a story brief, enter the shor t code at the end the story into your browser: of liam Shakespe are

...added that the set aside a signi company had budget of Bt20 ficant investment million for over0 million to Bt300 seas expansion Full story at http: . //goo.gl/bH6PF

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Nature and life in JuliusCaesar. 1997-98 wa are cyclical _ the impact of s a blessing, as the mains seasons of the yea 2008 would ha above the Europ the phases of the r, life and death, far worse ve been ean average. for the region, mo http://goo.gl/o on, the tides. ” Azman In Caught up in da zbNM India, China ily details, we eas Mokhtar, the managing and Thailand, ily forget that dir ect of or Kh Asia stands to rou aza ghly 12 percent nah the business wo of has cycles, too. rld told the CI Nasional of Malaysia, tion contribute to a the populaWe are all fam MB Asean Confe gain from W pension, while iliar with the econo rence. the we es t mi ak c ne bu sse sin s ess of cycle His com slowdown of expansion, con sion system are Thailand’s penments were... ... covery. Howe traction and re- Full story Full story at htt The shift of eco ver, other cyc at http://goo.gl/d nomic growth p:/ /goo.gl/rtpH3 lic ph al fu2 en u om ena affect... momentum to the Thailand near Preventing up numerous East has opened Full story at http://goo.gl/fJ to p opportunities olr of list of wor that Asian countries Bangkok from out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia bett weakest pensld’s sinking bigges economist. io off, not immun er n t systems: stud challenge The robust eco y from global cr e, no Greece, India, Ch Land subsidence China and em mic growth of is es ina and Thailand erging economi caused by groun are home to the water losses top will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : The As d weake w s ian cri- pensi on systems in st national lems that must the list of probAsian economi opportunity for sis in the late 1990s was a wa es to increase the be the kesol cal up ved wo l for in rld cri Ba , the region that pp wealth from tra ir has turned eig led by a mix of acute sover- kok to mitigate the impact ngde in goods an out to be of the n debt, young climate change services at a tim a blessing in d retire dis e on States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as the guise high ratios of pension ment ages, a study by multin flooding, says region’s ers an ers to worke ational agencies financial sec Full story at htt are... d . p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now strong and study poor pension take-up, a The conclusio showed. tain a certain n de is gre contained in of shocks from e Grow with th a rep ort the entitled “Clim e flow Western Hemi fallout in the The Allianz ate Risks and Ad of cycles sphere, accord ing sion Susta Global Investors Pen- Megac aptation in Asian Coastal to a panellist at a recent As inability Index, ities”, jointly con ‘There is a tid ean conference. ducted by the which Asian De tracks the rel e velop ati men, which, tak in the affairs of ity of nationa ve sustainabil- Internation ment Bank, the Japan l al leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi in 44 countries pension systems and the Wo Cooperation Agency ll be more crises tune”, wrote Wi around the wo rld Bank in 201 l- future, an in the showe rld, 0. d the Asian crisis in tirees d the number of Greek reThe report recom to people of wo rking age reFull story at htt mended a... p://goo.gl/20yMD Sponsored by

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were from Thailand, some 54,865 units, a surge of 88% over 2011 spurred by the government’s first-... Full story at http://goo.gl/GWFys

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Time to use more of geothermal power

Geothermal power has been one of green energy alternatives that energy authorities are looking into: how the underground heat can be turned into energy. In Thailand, there is one geothermal plant in Phang district, Chiang Mai, but with a small capacity of 0.3 megawatt. Bangchak Petroleum’s former president Anusorn Sangnimnuan was one who showed interest in such power. In December 2012, he led a media tour to the Mori Geothermal Power Plant in Hokkaido, Japan. The power plant, established in 1972, is a big project. It started generating electricity in 1982 with a production capacity 50 megawatts. It brings up heat from as deep as 3km underground. During the visit, Anusorn noted that Thailand shows a potential to make use of the CO2free geothermal power, particularly in the North. “The system there can’t be replicated in Thailand but of course, it can take place at an Asean country like Indonesia and... Full story at http://goo.gl/1YSVf

Among the deals sealed in Myanmar are the leasing of two aircraft, the sale of power-plant turbine Robot firm sees Thai generators, and hospital equipment industrial potential sold to government and private hos- Denmark’s Universal Robots A/S pitals. GE has also recently started... may set up a Thai subsidiary once Full story at http://goo.gl/0BtRB the Southeast Asian market has a sizeable demand for industrial roFord Motor bots, probably in the next five years. optimistic about “With minimum wages in many countries in Southeast Asia and levAsean market US automaker Ford Motor Co is ies imposed on foreign workers, the upbeat about its sales prospects in robot outlook is very positive, as Asia-Pacific, particularly for Asean manufacturers will be forced to look and Thailand, which is strategi- for alternatives,” said Shermine Gotcally positioned as the production fredsen, the business development base for the Asean market. Asia- manager. Pacific contributed around 60-70% of global sales for Ford last year, UR robots feature an arm, a touch mainly from its sub-compact cars screen with a graphical user interand pick-up trucks. Matt Bradley, face, and a controller box. Prices Asean president for Ford, said the range from 700,000 to 4 million baht firm achieved 27% growth from a based on the typical size of projects. year before. “Asia-Pacific shows po- Most end-users are small and meditential growth in car sales driven by um-sized enterprises. Globally, UR the region’s economic strength,” he expects to sell 800 to 1,000 robots said. this year, with Germany the largest market, followed by Denmark and Ford has four main production bas- India. With 121 sales partners in 41 es to serve Asia-Pacific, located in countries, UR recently signed up Brazil, India, China and Thailand. three distributors in Thailand... Most of Ford’s Asean sales in 2012 Full story at http://goo.gl/sRhto

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Briefs Finance / Investment

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Is gold worth the investment risk after its recent price fall?

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Mid-April/Mid-May 2013

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: add gold to your portfolio. However, you have to understand that gold is not really an investment in a traditional sense of the word because it doesn’t pay a dividend or interest. In fact, there are opportunity costs in owning gold. As an asset class, gold can be quite volatile; the peakto-trough price swing can be as much as 20-30%. You have to think of gold as a long-term insurance against the loss of value of paper or fiat currency. It’s the one... Full story at http://goo.gl/AtCEU

With gold prices diving sharply, is it the right time to invest in gold? If so, should I invest in bullion or futures? I have never invested in gold. I prefer to play safe with deposits and to invest through LTFs and RMFs. But if it’s a good idea to diversify risks Italian-Thai plans and if I could generate a higher re- role in Dawei project turn with a slightly higher risk, I can The Italian-Thai Development is intake it. –Day creasingly confident of its prospects for the Dawei seaport project after ANSWERED BY… Teera Phutr- the setting up of a special purpose akul, CFP, chairman, TFPA A re- vehicle by the government to be recent dip in the price of gold to about sponsible for project management. US$1,578 per ounce represented a 5% drop from the start of the year, ITD president Premchai Karnasuta which compares with an 8.7% gain said that Italian-Thai would transfer last year. If you don’t have any gold the management rights to the SPV in your portfolio at all, this pullback and eventually some eight SPVs could be a good time to gradually would be established to handle all

...added that the company had set aside a significant investment budget of Bt200 million to Bt300 million for overseas expansion. Full story at http://goo.gl/bH6PF

the projects in Dawei. The details will be finalised within this month and the SPVs would be set up by the end of this year. ITD would hold a stake in all eight SPCs of not less than 25 per cent, based on the evaluation of its capital already invested in the project. The company would invest about Bt20 billion in the project from this year until 2014, initially for... Full story at http://goo.gl/XSRhu

AIA set to diversify investments abroad

American International Assurance, Thailand’s largest life insurer, is looking to expand offshore investments to 15-20% of its massive investment portfolio, a move it claims will help to diversify investment risks. “Most of our investments are located in the domestic market,” said Anucha Laokwansatit, the general manager and chief investment officer. “It would be more prudent if we were allowed to invest more in offshore corporate bonds and securities.”

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AIA controls investment assets worth up to 600 billion baht, about 8% of which is invested in offshore state and state-enterprise bonds. The company repatriated 15 billion in earnings to its parent firm in 2012. Mr Anucha said the company has already submitted a new offshore investment framework to the Office of the Insurance Commission, and the proposal is pending the OIC board’s consideration. Of its massive investments, some 80% are in debentures, 10% are in stocks, and the rest in property. Mr Anucha insisted the company’s financial stability is not a concern even if it raises overseas investments. “AIA’s available capital including retained earnings exceeds 180 billion baht, while the company earns a profit of 15-17... Full story at http://goo.gl/EvUa2

SME rehab limits loans to B15m

The Finance Ministry has approved the business rehabilitation plan for the SME Bank, forcing it to lower

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Use the QR Code reader in your smartphone to see all the stories in a certain category. its lending ceiling to 15 million baht per loan. “This is a good solution to prevent high non-performing loans in the future, which should help the bank become a genuine source of funds for SMEs,” said Areepong Bhoocha-oom, the finance permanent secretary. However, the new ceiling for loans will apply to new clients only, while existing clients can still borrow up to 200 million baht. The previous limit of 200 million baht per client was later extended to 500 million baht, which caused a major problem for SME Bank, as one-third of its NPLs are large debtors that borrowed more than 200 million. Mr Areepong said SME Bank will no longer take refinance deals from other banks to prevent more highrisk debtors. Pinyo Tanwiset, an adviser to the deputy finance minister, said about 100 clients with more than 200 million baht in debt became NPLs, with combined debt of nearly 9 billion baht. SME Bank reports 32 billion baht in bad debts, which is more than 30% of outstanding loans of... Full story at http://goo.gl/1fu6R

BoI delays five-year promotion

The Board of Investment decided to postpone indefinitely the launch of Thailand’s new five-year promotion policy from its original schedule of the middle of this year. Secretarygeneral Udom Wongwiwatchai said certain issues need a review including zoning criteria and the types of projects that would see investment incentives abolished. The new policy will replace zone-based criteria with industry preference _ with the BoI deciding which industries are to be promoted based on the 11th National Economic Development Plan.

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To read the fu ll article of a Mid-April/Mid-May story brief, 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF enter the shor ...added that the t code at the set aside a signi company had end the story into budget of Bt20 ficant investment goo.gl/bH6P your browser: of million for over0 million to Bt300 seas expansion F liam Shakespe Full story at http: . //goo.gl/b are

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H6PF Nature and life in JuliusCaesar. 1997-98 wa are cyclical _ the impact of s a blessing, as the mains seasons of the yea 2008 would ha above the Europ the phases of the r, life and death, far worse ve been ean average. for the region, http://goo.gl/o ” Azman In Caught up in da moon, the tides. Mokhtar, zbNM India, China the managing ily details, we eas and Thailand, ily forget that dir ect of or Kh Asia stands to rou aza ghly 12 percent nah the business wo of has cycles, too. rld told the CI Nasional of Malaysia, tion contribute to a the populaWe are all fam MB Asean Confe gain from W pension, while iliar with the econo rence. the we es t mi ak c ne bu sse sin s ess of cycle His com slowdown of expansion, con sion system are Thailand’s penments were... ... covery. Howe traction and re- Full story Full story at htt The shift of eco ver, other cyc at http://goo.gl/d nomic growth p:/ /goo.gl/rtpH3 lic ph al fu2 en u om ena affect... momentum to the Thailand near Preventing up numerous East has opened Full story at http://goo.gl/fJ to p opportunities olr of list of wor that Asian countries Bangkok from out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia bett weakest pensld’s sinking bigges economist. io off, not immun er n t systems: stud challenge The robust eco y from global cr e, no Greece, India, Ch Land subsidence China and em mic growth of is es ina and Thailand erging economi caused by groun are home to the water losses top will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : The As d weake w s ian cri- pensi on systems in st national lems that must the list of probAsian economi opportunity for sis in the late 1990s was a wa es to increase the be the kesol cal up ved wo l for in rld cri Ba , the region that pp wealth from tra ir has turned eig led by a mix of acute sover- kok to mitigate the impact ngde in goods an out to be of the n debt, young climate change services at a tim a blessing in d retire dis e on States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as the guise high ratios of pension ment ages, a study by multin flooding, says region’s ers an ers to worke ational agencies financial sec Full story at htt are... d . p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now strong and study poor pension take-up, a The conclusio showed. tain a certain n de is gre contained in of shocks from e Grow with th a rep ort the entitled “Clim e flow Western Hemi fallout in the The Allianz ate Risks and Ad of cycles sphere, accord ing sion Susta Global Investors Pen- Megac aptation in Asian Coastal to a panellist at a recent As inability Index, ities”, jointly con ‘There is a tid ean conference. ducted by the which Asian De tracks the rel e velop ati men, which, tak in the affairs of ity of nationa ve sustainabil- Internation ment Bank, the Japan l al leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi in 44 countries pension systems and the Wo Cooperation Agency ll be more crises tune”, wrote Wi around the wo rld Bank in 201 l- future, an in the showe rld, 0. d the Asian crisis in tirees d the number of Greek reThe report recom to people of wo rking age reFull story at htt mended a... p://goo.gl/20yMD

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Infrastructure funds to rock asset sector

The local asset management industry will face a new challenge this year in the form of infrastructure funds. Their large size means intense competition among large mutual fund companies, leaving small ones scrambling for a niche in order to survive, said Jotika Savanananda, president of SCB Asset Management. “Eventually, we must play on the field [infrastructure funds] too,” said Mrs Jotika.

Due to the huge capital required for this type of fund, only one can easily catapult its manager to the top rank in terms of assets under management. Mrs Jotika said normally the assets under management of a mutual fund company increase by around 30-50 billion baht on average annually.

of possible new measures if the latest one fails to bring results. He said the SEC found that some investors have tried to make as much profit as possible by opening trading... Full story at http://goo.gl/UApn8

New studies on Dawei megaproject

Thailand and Myanmar have agreed to revise all development projects in Dawei to make them more realistic and attractive for foreign investment. New studies on the Myanmar megaproject will cover infrastructure including roads, a deep-sea port, water, power and industrial estates and must be completed this month.

The third meeting of the Dawei joint steering committee decided all development projects need a review and additional analysis so as to ensure an accurate picture of revenue and expenditures for investors. Analysis will cover demand for utilities, the structure for calculating utility prices, project investment But once infrastructure funds are al- and period, and technical informalowed to be set up this year, adding tion for the construction of utilities. one to its portfolio could increase its assets several-fold, she said, citing as A source with knowledge of the an example the planned BTS fund committee meeting said previous worth 60 billion baht. “It’s different projections by Italian-Thai Develfrom bond or money-market funds, opment Plc for returns on investwhich will increase the AUM of an ment for each project were quite asset management company... high, while there remain discrepanFull story at http://goo.gl/0hMi0 cies over project information.

More speculation curbs likely

The Securities and Exchange Commission will come up with new measures to clamp down on speculation if its latest move fails to curb overheating. Secretary-general Vorapol Socatiyanurak said the latest measure will extend the cash-advance trading period for stocks with high turnover to six weeks from three He said the SEC will monitor market feedback if speculation remains at a level that could harm investors, as many stocks were trading heavily until their price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios had skyrocketed far from their fundamental value. More than 70 stocks on the SET100 are trading with a P/E ratio higher than 70 times.

“There are some issues that need further discussions with concerned agencies, especially the Finance Ministry. The BoI will cautiously consider the remaining concerns without a time frame,” Mr Udom said. “The SEC is worried that new investors who have no experience in the Meanwhile, the Industry Ministry stock market will become victims was assigned by the board to look when a market correction causes seriously at which sectors or activi- prices to decline sharply,” said Mr ties should be added to the value Vorapol. chain and so qualify for... Full story at http://goo.gl/2bLjB Mr Vorapol declined to give details

Seven companies have submitted filings to stock regulators to launch their IPOs, while another 10 will likely apply for listing in April and May. “The window of opportunity for IPOs is opening up after being shuttered for many years. Last year was the first time in six years the capital market was free from political unrest and other domestic factors, dating back to the period of capital controls,” said Chanitr Charnchainarong, head of issuings and listings and the MAI’s president. For the first two months this year, four companies with market capitalisation of 22 billion baht listed on the stock markets _ three on the MAI and one on the SET. Mr Chanitr said several large manufacturing companies were keen to raise funds from the local equities... Full story at http://goo.gl/wbq3Y

Global firms eye insurance in SE Asia

Thailand’s life-insurance landscape is being reshaped with the emergence of global players that are showing keen interest in the fastgrowing Southeast Asian market. Carlyle Group, CVC Capital Partners and KKR and Co are among firms that have made preliminary offers for a minority stake in Thai Life Insurance, Bloomberg said, quoting people with knowledge of the matter. The unlisted Thai insurer, controlled by the Chaiyawan family, is selling at least a 20-percent stake valued at about Bt15 billion, the sources said. Japanese insurers Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co and Sumitomo Life Insurance Co have also expressed interest in the holding, one person said.

The meeting also agreed a holding firm or special-purpose vehicle should be set up and based in Thailand to manage the huge deep-sea port and special economic zone, with subsidiaries in Myanmar to acquire concessions from the local government. Investment will be handled by six joint ventures based in Myanmar to take charge of in- The stake purchase, potentially the vestment in... largest by a private-equity firm in Full story at http://goo.gl/Q9jqi Thailand according to data compiled by Bloomberg, would follow at SET forecasts IPO least two other foreign acquisitions boom this year of Thai life-insurance assets in the Seven firms submit past six months. About a quarter of the Thai population hold insurance filings, 10 to follow policies, less than in other Southeast The Stock Exchange of Thailand Asian countries including Malaysia expects initial public offerings will and Singapore, according to Fitch reach a record high this year, with Ratings. Barclays is running the sale market capitalisation of newly listed for Thai Life, Bloomberg’s sources companies surpassing 120 billion said. baht. Market capitalisation based on IPO prices of new companies and Last November, Prudential, through property funds listed on both the local unit Prudential Life Assurance SET and the Market for Alternative (Thailand), bought out Thanachart Investment last year amounted to Life Assurance for $550 million, and 116 billion baht. Their market capi- established a 15-year partnership talisation swelled to 180 billion baht deal in Thailand’s bancassurance... at the end of last year. Full story at http://goo.gl//wXFA2


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Briefs Government / Economy

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Floodwaters recede

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Mid-April/Mid-May 2013

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: insurance to protect property such as homes, townhouses and commercial buildings. It was traditionally added to fire insurance policies, for which premiums were 0.1% of the sum insured.

More than a year after devastating floods in late 2011 that cost more than US$10 billion in insurance losses and $40 billion in overall losses, Thailand’s insurance market has recovered, with foreign reinsurers willing to accept more flood peril risk. But the market landscape will no longer be the same, says the regulator.

The premium for flood coverage shot up to as high as 10% after the floods, while most foreign reinsurance firms were reluctant to accept natural perils insurance for Thai firms, prompting the government to set up 50-billion-baht natural... Full story at http://goo.gl/H5NJw

“Businesses are now running as usual,” said Pravej Ongartsittigul, secretary-general of the Office of the Insurance Commission. “But the market will not be the same any more after the massive floods, as Thailand is no longer singled out as a flood-free zone by the reinsurance market.”

The Seoul-based Samsung Group is likely to win the online lottery contract, replacing current contract holder Loxley GTech Technology, after offering to pay any damages demanded by the Loxley unit for contract termination by the government.

Samsung in line to run lottery

Benja Louischaroen, director-genFlood coverage used to be practi- eral of the Customs Department and cally free for clients who bought fire chairwoman of the Government FOR MORE INFORMATION

...added that the company had set aside a significant investment budget of Bt200 million to Bt300 million for overseas expansion. Full story at http://goo.gl/bH6PF

goo.gl/bH6PF

Lottery Office, said the department Thailand should has considered proposals by many brand itself companies and so far Samsung’s has been the best deal. The GLO is pre- Asean’s leader paring to handle any lawsuit from Thailand should take the lead as the LGT, she said. “United States of Asean” and take advantage of the Kingdom’s rich, Ms Benja is unhappy with delays to religious culture as its selling points the installation of lottery machines. in branding itself ahead of the AseUnder the plan, LGT should have an Economic Community in 2015, installed a total of 12,000 units na- said marketing guru Philip Kotler. tionwide, but so far it has only installed 1,800 in Bangkok and 1,200 “Thailand has a beautiful culture units in provincial areas. However, and is one of the major Buddhist she did not address the point that countries in Southeast Asia. The the project has been stalled by polit- country is religious-oriented and ical reasons for almost two decades. has a good harmony and principles of good living. These should be the The online lottery was initiated in selling points of Thailand,” he said. 1996 when then-prime minister “You need to think about Asean Banharn Silpa-archa, on his final in branding the country and think day in office, signed a 1.6-billion- about what should be the brand idea baht deal with Jaco Co, a joint ven- behind Thailand. You need to find ture between Loxley Plc and the US out the best way to brand Thailand,” lottery firm G-Tech Co. The proj- he said. ect was later suspended due to the strong opposition of some groups Kotler, an 81-year-old distiguished on moral grounds, prompting Jaco professor at the Kellogg School of to seek... Management of Northwestern UniFull story at http://goo.gl/LCTLk versity in the US, has been dubbed

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2

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Use the QR Code reader in your smartphone to see all the stories in a certain category. “the father of marketing management” and is the author of the book “Marketing 3.0”. He spoke at the exclusive training session on “Values Driven Marketing” held by Krungthep Turakij.

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December 20 11

To read the fu ll article of a Mid-April/Mid-May story brief, 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF enter the shor ...added that the t code at the set aside a signi company had end the story into budget of Bt20 ficant investment goo.gl/bH6P your browser: of million for over0 million to Bt300 seas expansion F liam Shakespe Full story at http: . //goo.gl/b are

7

H6PF Nature and life in JuliusCaesar. 1997-98 wa are cyclical _ the impact of s a blessing, as the mains seasons of the yea 2008 would ha above the Europ the phases of the r, life and death, far worse ve been ean average. for the region, http://goo.gl/o ” Azman In Caught up in da moon, the tides. Mokhtar, zbNM India, China the managing ily details, we eas and Thailand, ily forget that dir ect of or Kh Asia stands to rou aza ghly 12 percent nah the business wo of has cycles, too. rld told the CI Nasional of Malaysia, tion contribute to a the populaWe are all fam MB Asean Confe gain from W pension, while iliar with the econo rence. the we es t mi ak c ne bu sse sin s ess of cycle His com slowdown of expansion, con sion system are Thailand’s penments were... ... covery. Howe traction and re- Full story Full story at htt The shift of eco ver, other cyc at http://goo.gl/d nomic growth p:/ /goo.gl/rtpH3 lic ph al fu2 en u om ena affect... momentum to the Thailand near Preventing up numerous East has opened Full story at http://goo.gl/fJ to p opportunities olr of list of wor that Asian countries Bangkok from out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia bett weakest pensld’s sinking bigges economist. io off, not immun er n t systems: stud challenge The robust eco y from global cr e, no Greece, India, Ch Land subsidence China and em mic growth of is es ina and Thailand erging economi caused by groun are home to the water losses top will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : The As d weake w s ian cri- pensi on systems in st national lems that must the list of probAsian economi opportunity for sis in the late 1990s was a wa es to increase the be the kesol cal up ved wo l for in rld cri Ba , the region that pp wealth from tra ir has turned eig led by a mix of acute sover- kok to mitigate the impact ngde in goods an out to be of the n debt, young climate change services at a tim a blessing in d retire dis e on States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as the guise high ratios of pension ment ages, a study by multin flooding, says region’s ers an ers to worke ational agencies financial sec Full story at htt are... d . p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now strong and study poor pension take-up, a The conclusio showed. tain a certain n de is gre contained in of shocks from e Grow with th a rep ort the entitled “Clim e flow Western Hemi fallout in the The Allianz ate Risks and Ad of cycles sphere, accord ing sion Susta Global Investors Pen- Megac aptation in Asian Coastal to a panellist at a recent As inability Index, ities”, jointly con ‘There is a tid ean conference. ducted by the which Asian De tracks the rel e velop ati men, which, tak in the affairs of ity of nationa ve sustainabil- Internation ment Bank, the Japan l al leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi in 44 countries pension systems and the Wo Cooperation Agency ll be more crises tune”, wrote Wi around the wo rld Bank in 201 l- future, an in the showe rld, 0. d the Asian crisis in tirees d the number of Greek reThe report recom to people of wo rking age reFull story at htt mended a... p://goo.gl/20yMD

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will be concluded in less than two years, as part of Thailand’s commitment towards free trade and competitiveness enhancement. Olarn Chaipravat, an economic adviser to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and chief of the Thailand Trade Representative, will head the Thai negotiating team. Aside from Singapore, which is the first Asean country to reach an agreement with the European Union, followed by Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines are set to start negotiations soon.

Revealing the global trends of the growing middle class, consumer empowerment and the rise of “Chindia” (China and India), he said business momentum would gravitate to where the growth is. Up to now, multinational corporations from the “triad” powers of Europe, the US and Japan had created most... Full story at http://goo.gl/PaktE The Thai Cabinet on December 4 gave the go-ahead for FTA negoGovt may opt for tiations, despite public opposition European city buses amid fears that alcohol and pharmaceuticals would be included in The dragged-out debate on the ac- the deal. Deputy Prime Minister quisition of a huge fleet of city buses and Finance Minister Kittiratt Nais closer to resolution with Prime Ranong said that to ensure public Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s trip support, the government had promto Europe. The previous proposal ised not to put economic returns from the Transport Ministry was above the expense of human health. for 3,183 commuter buses at a total “Most importantly, the government project cost of about Bt13 billion. will maintain open access for representatives of the public to voice The choice may now be Europe- their concerns before and after each an models running on abundant round of negotiation to ensure all ethanol-based E85 fuel instead sides have the same understanding of Chinese-made models using of the issues involved... shortage-prone natural gas for ve- Full story at http://goo.gl/MzMtX hicles. Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said after a meeting in Baht’s upward trend Belgium with its government and to continue businesspeople that the use of E85 could help stabilise the prices of Thailand is bracing for further baht sugar cane and cassava, benefiting appreciation if all global trends are planters in the long run, while bus accounted for. Pongpen Ruengvifares could be calculated into the rayudh, a deputy governor at the prices of both crops. Kittiratt did Bank of Thailand, said that the cennot identify the manufacturers, but tral bank sees a greater possibility representatives from Volvo Truck, of further inflows, with Japan’s new Scania Group and industrial gas monetary policies at the centre of its manufacturer AGA met with Yin- radar. With more liquidity in global gluck in Sweden, which she and her financial markets, some would seep Thai delegation visited. into Thailand. However, as the US property market stabilises, some “This can tell us the quantity of E85 could also be diverted into that secrequired for the buses while show- tor. The situation is shaky with some ing the prices for the crops that factors to watch. For now, they are planters can live with,” he said. Thai- the policy of the Bank of Japan’s new land has an abundant supply of eth- governor and the economic condianol, which would be used for the tions in the euro zone, she added. production of E85 and other... Full story at http://goo.gl/SBHsD The Bank of Japan decided to maintain the policy rate at near zero, but Thai-EU FTA deal more easing measures are expected. within two years Haruhiko Kuroda, a finance veteran and the Asian Development Bank’s The Thai government delegation head, who is a strong supporter of ended its visits to Sweden and Bel- monetary easing, is likely to be congium with the announcement that firmed by parliament as the next the Thai-EU free trade agreement BOJ governor in the coming weeks.

The 68-year-old Kuroda has long criticised the BOJ for doing too little to lift the economy and is seen as likely to lead a fresh drive for more spending and aggressive easing to beat deflation, putting him squarely in Prime Minister Shinzo... Full story at http://goo.gl/bp4DR

Populist policies ‘piling up public debt’

Financial and economic experts criticised the populist policies of the Yingluck government, saying it will surge the level of bad debts to an unacceptable level. They were speaking at a seminar on the impact of the policies on the country’s economy, finances and fiscal budget, organised by the board of commissioners of the Senate finance and banking and financial institutions. MR Pridiyathorn Devakula, former deputy prime minister and finance minister, said that the public debt level was expected to increase sharply to about 60 per cent of gross domestic product and may even hit the 80-per-cent level in 2019 if the government continued to pursue populist policies to achieve its political objective. “I have high concerns about some populist policies, which do not fit in with the fundamental demand of the country as they will be a big burden on the government in the long term,” said Pridiyathorn.

for several reasons. The size of its labour market is constantly expanding thanks to economic growth in line with new foreign investment, while middle-income workers will become high purchasing powers and need to change their jobs for better life and income. And the full launch of 3G mobile connectivity and more advanced technology this year will help increase the penetration of mobile Internet. The company’s latest surveys in six markets found that both men and women in their economically active years across all age groups were constantly on the lookout for new career opportunities, even if they had just started a job or were... Full story at http://goo.gl/MqKQk

Make changes to structure while baht is high, meet told

Amid the appreciating baht, Thailand should seize the chance to make economic structural adjustments to depend more on domestic investment, particularly in technology, for higher production competitiveness rather than on exports, a seminar heard. “A major obstacle to Thailand’s economic development is a very high reliance on exports,” Chalongphob Sussangkarn, former finance minister and a distinguished scholar at the Thailand Development Research Institute, told the seminar on “The Baht and Long-Term Economic Structure”.

He cited the rice-pledging scheme, which had been implemented in fiscal 2004-5 until 2011-12, and caused a net loss of Bt189.14 billion. The government, however, decided to continue this measure for this fis- Since the 1997 financial crisis, Thaical year as one of its long-term... land has increasingly depended on Full story at http://goo.gl/u3eIv exports, which made up 75 per cent gross domestic product in 2011 Onset of 3G, higher of compared with only 45 per cent in purchasing power to the mid-1990s.

boost labour market

JobsDB, Asia’s leading job portal provider, sees growth in the labour market this year due to increased Internet penetration resulting from third-generation mobile connectivity and rising purchasing power of middle-income earners. “Thailand [has] the second-largest labour market in Asia after Hong Kong. The rest includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines [and] Singapore. While those key markets enjoy double-digit growth, Thailand also sees a significant increase in job-seekers,” CEO Adrian Chng said.

Instead of over-reliance on manufacturing for exports, Thailand should shift to importing technology, whose costs now are much lower because of the strong baht, and that might help the country break through the middle-income trap, said Somchai Jitsuchon, a research director for inclusive development at the TDRI.

Ammar Siamwalla, a distinguished scholar at the institute, proposed wage increases as the government’s long-term policy target. It should play a role in raising wages and allowing the exchange and inflation The Thai market could rank as No rates to adjust themselves... 1 in the region in the near future Full story at http://goo.gl/gjTbI


8

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs Retail/Services

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Central CEO Yuwadee makes Forbes Asia’s Top 50 Yuwadee Chirathivat, 59, has become the only Thai on Forbes Asia’s 50 Top Businesswoman list by steering her family’s Central Department Store to Thailand’s pole position and manoeuvring the 65-year-old firm into a growing role region-wide. Shopping has become an ever-escalating pursuit across Asia, but no country outclasses Thailand for the consummate mega-mall experience. Despite this, most local companies have shied from moving out of their comfort zones. “But Yuwadee opened Central’s first China stores in 2010 and last year embarked on an ambitious Southeast Asian strategy that will start

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Mid-April/Mid-May 2013

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: with the opening of a store in Indonesia in 2014,” Forbes Asia said. “Thailand remains the Central focus, with new stores slated to open this year in southern Hat Yai and northern Chiang Mai.” Despite a global economic downturn that has buffeted the retail industry, Central under president and chief executive Yuwadee increased its sales by 19 per cent last year to Bt53.6 billion and its profit by 13 per cent. She looks over a brood of 13 Central Department Stores and one Zen department store. Forbes Asia said the 50 women were chosen for being particularly active in their areas of business in spite of challenging economic... Full story at http://goo.gl/BQGJx

Vespa riding high after return

Its price may not be cheap compared with motorcycles in general, but the iconic Vespa scooter remains a bike that many riders long to own. This has prompted Vespiario (Thailand),

...added that the company had set aside a significant investment budget of Bt200 million to Bt300 million for overseas expansion. Full story at http://goo.gl/bH6PF

the authorised importer and distributor of Italy’s Vespa, to foresee a flourishing business here. The Vespas are mainly imported from the Piaggio Group, an Italian scooter maker with its regional production base in Vietnam.

goo.gl/bH6PF

of imported ales and stouts for discerning drinkers – Aaron Grieser and Brian Bartusch are trying to make Bangkok a more flavourful city, one craft beer at a time. Craft beer, says Mr Grieser, a native of the US state of Oregon and Beervana’s founder, is “the next big thing” in Managing director Pornada Tejapa- the capital. ibul said Vespa scooters rode back into the Thai market three years ago Hugely popular in the US and now and have seen strong sales growth taking off in places like Japan, Ausever since. Vespiario sold 1,000 tralia, New Zealand and Canada, scooters in 2010, 3,000 in 2011 and craft beer is made “independent of 6,000 in 2012. For all three years, big corporate beer companies”, he sales totalled 1.05 billion baht. Ves- says. pa prices start at 89,000 baht for the 125cc model, rising to 109,000 and At Beervana’s headquarters in Bang 116,000 baht for 150cc and 300,000 Na, Mr Bartusch, an expat from baht for a 300cc. Chicago and the fledgling beer-importing company’s general manager, Mrs Pornada said Vespa has growth places a heavy glass on the bar in the potential in both new and second- office’s showroom. He pops open a hand scooters _ a testament to their bottle of “Dead Guy Ale”, imported enduring retro... from Oregon’s Rogue brewing comFull story at http://goo.gl/RWfvL pany, and fills the glass. The bottle’s label shows a skeleton on a red backBangkok’s crafty ground gripping a beer mug atop a new brew crew beer barrel. It’s Beervana’s best-sellExpat-run Beervana delivers a range ing beer and his personal favourite,


2

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BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

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Use the QR Code reader in your smartphone to see all the stories in a certain category.

rest

December 20 11

To read the fu ll article of a Mid-April/Mid-May story brief, 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF enter the shor ...added that the t code at the set aside a signi company had end the story into budget of Bt20 ficant investment goo.gl/bH6P your browser: of million for over0 million to Bt300 seas expansion F liam Shakespe Full story at http: . //goo.gl/b are

H6PF Nature and life in JuliusCaesar. 1997-98 wa are cyclical _ the impact of s a blessing, as the mains seasons of the yea 2008 would ha above the Europ the phases of the r, life and death, far worse ve been ean average. for the region, http://goo.gl/o ” Azman In Caught up in da moon, the tides. Mokhtar, zbNM India, China the managing ily details, we eas and Thailand, ily forget that dir ect of or Kh Asia stands to rou aza ghly 12 percent nah the business wo of has cycles, too. rld told the CI Nasional of Malaysia, tion contribute to a the populaWe are all fam MB Asean Confe gain from W pension, while iliar with the econo rence. the we es t mi ak c ne bu sse sin s ess of cycle His com slowdown of expansion, con sion system are Thailand’s penments were... ... covery. Howe traction and re- Full story Full story at htt The shift of eco ver, other cyc at http://goo.gl/d nomic growth p:/ /goo.gl/rtpH3 lic ph al fu2 en u om ena affect... momentum to the Thailand near Preventing up numerous East has opened Full story at http://goo.gl/fJ to p opportunities olr of list of wor that Asian countries Bangkok from out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia bett weakest pensld’s sinking bigges economist. io off, not immun er n t systems: stud challenge The robust eco y from global cr e, no Greece, India, Ch Land subsidence China and em mic growth of is es ina and Thailand erging economi caused by groun are home to the water losses top will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : The As d weake w s ian cri- pensi on systems in st national lems that must the list of probAsian economi opportunity for sis in the late 1990s was a wa es to increase the be the kesol cal up ved wo l for in rld cri Ba , the region that pp wealth from tra ir has turned eig led by a mix of acute sover- kok to mitigate the impact ngde in goods an out to be of the n debt, young climate change services at a tim a blessing in d retire dis e on States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as the guise high ratios of pension ment ages, a study by multin flooding, says region’s ers an ers to worke ational agencies financial sec Full story at htt are... d . p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now strong and study poor pension take-up, a The conclusio showed. tain a certain n de is gre contained in of shocks from e Grow with th a rep ort the entitled “Clim e flow Western Hemi fallout in the The Allianz ate Risks and Ad of cycles sphere, accord ing sion Susta Global Investors Pen- Megac aptation in Asian Coastal to a panellist at a recent As inability Index, ities”, jointly con ‘There is a tid ean conference. ducted by the which Asian De tracks the rel e velop ati men, which, tak in the affairs of ity of nationa ve sustainabil- Internation ment Bank, the Japan l al leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi in 44 countries pension systems and the Wo Cooperation Agency ll be more crises tune”, wrote Wi around the wo rld Bank in 201 l- future, an in the showe rld, 0. d the Asian crisis in tirees d the number of Greek reThe report recom to people of wo rking age reFull story at htt mended a... p://goo.gl/20yMD

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Mr Bartusch says, as the ale climbs the circuit. During a press conferto the rim. ence held at the i-Mobile Thunder Castle stadium belonging to BuriHe raises the glass under his nose ram United, Newin announced that and breathes in before taking a short the complex would not only serve pull. “Super smooth,” he says. “It’s motor racing purposes, but would easy to drink but full of complexity also include an auto and auto-parts and flavour. It pairs well with... testing centre. Full story at http://goo.gl/O2Byf “If I build only the circuit, it will Home shopping cater only to motorsports. But Thaioperators keen land is known as the ‘Detroit of Asia’ and is the centre for automobile as on entering well as auto-parts production in this Thai market region. I can visualise the opporMore foreign TV home shopping tunity of building a testing centre operators are eyeing Thailand, along with this circuit,” he said. which is seen as having potential due to consumers’ high purchasing “Each year automobile and autopower. Songpol Shanmatkit, chief parts companies spend a great deal executive of the SET-listed TV Di- of money sending their products rect Plc, said the Thai market re- for testing to Japan and many other mains small but has the potential to countries. I think it’s time that I use grow rapidly like in Japan and South this opportunity to make it happen Korea. in Thailand as we prepare for the AEC that will take off in the near... Pay-TV operators have recently Full story at http://goo.gl/BvgDO launched home shopping channels including the True Select channel Thais shopping more by TrueVisions and the O Shopping on foreign websites, channel, a joint venture between Mastercard online GMM Z and South Korea’s CJO. “I think many TV home shopping survey finds operators from abroad will expand The latest MasterCard Online their businesses to Thailand this Shopping Behaviour survey shows year, particularly Japanese players,” that shopping on foreign websites Mr Songpol said. is becoming increasingly popular among Thais. The average share of Last August, Sumitomo Corpora- online purchase occasions from tion, which operates the Jupiter websites outside Thailand has notaShop Channel in Japan, reached a bly increased, to 31.5 per cent from deal with ICC International Plc and 20.0 per cent in 2011, and the share Central Retail Corporation to estab- of online purchases climbed to 29.9 lish the Shop Channel in Thailand. per cent from 20.0 per cent. Sumitomo is providing 40% of the investment, while ICC and CRC The survey by MasterCard Worldeach are contributing 30%. The wide reveals that online shopping Shop Channel is set to broadcast in remains one of the main purposes June with product lines including for Thai consumers going online (10.9 per cent), while receiving/ jewellery, cosmetics, electronics,... sending e-mails and updating staFull story at http://goo.gl/rExba tus on social-networking sites are Newin now the most common reasons (15.5 per constructing cent and 14.1 per cent respectively). For the top categories of online visBuriram Circuit its, cinemas (46.3 per cent), music Throughout his political career, downloads (44.9 per cent), and Newin Chidchob has been able to clothing and accessories (43.3 per make headlines. Now, the presi- cent) continue to be the top three on dent of Buriram United is in the the list, with the rise of the percentheadlines once again, this time af- age of the visits to luxury or highter announcing the construction of end goods sites from an average of the Buriram International Circuit, 48.4 per cent from 44.4 per cent in 2011. which will cost at least Bt2 billion.

the popular trend of cross-border shopping on foreign sites was being spearheaded by men. They are more likely than women to shop on foreign websites, with 35.0 per cent of their online shopping occasions going overseas. This average has grown significantly from 24.0 per cent in the previous survey, as well... Full story at http://goo.gl/nB7qC

9

strategy of becoming the No.1 hospital group in Asia and third in the world within three years. It is now the second-largest hospital group in Asia-Pacific by market capitalisation and fourth in the world.

The group is considering whether to acquire more hospitals or build them, but the focus will be border provinces. BGH hospitals average Second time lucky 150-200 beds. “This year we’ll focus for Domino’s Pizza? on investing in the domestic... Domino’s Pizza has returned to the Full story at http://goo.gl/I7iMy Thai market by opening a store in Bangkok as part of its plan to boost CRC takes Asia-Pacific sales. The re-entry of Copenhagen’s Illum the world’s leading pizza delivery After establishing a foothold in firm will likely heat up Thailand’s Italy’s retail market in 2011, Cenpizza market, worth an estimated 8 tral Retail Corp, Thailand’s leading billion baht annually. retailer and department store operator, has expanded its presence in “Thailand is among our prior- Europe through the acquisition of ity markets for expansion. It is the Illum, a major department store loright time to open again here,” Ste- cated in Copenhagen. While declinven Pizziol, the vice-president for ing to disclose the value of the deal, Asia-Pacific at Domino’s Pizza In- the company said it would spend ternational, said on a visit to Thai- about Bt2 billion on a facelift of Illand recently. More branches in the lum, which is one of the best-known capital are in the pipeline following department stores in Scandinavia. the launch of its store in One Fenix The store will be closed for the renoSquare on the corner of Sukhumvit vation for four years. Soi 22. CRC chief executive officer Tos Domino’s Pizza closed 25 stores in Chirathivat said that the Danish acThailand after its Thai operator was quisition was in line with the comhit by the 1997 financial crisis. “The pany’s business expansion strategy, business went well at that time, and and the targeted doubling of the its we believe that Thai customers are revenues from the European market still familiar with the brand,” Mr from Bt18 billion last year to about Pizziol said. “Our business has been Bt40 billion in the next four years. successful in many rice-consuming CRC expects to increase its overall countries.” revenue from the Bt150 billion posted last year to about Bt190 billion... The firm has more than 100 stores Full story at http://goo.gl//se9f2 in Malaysia, 360 in South Korea and almost 250 in Japan. Domino’s Pizza THAI reaches out believes it will benefit from the Thai to AirAsia market’s rising number of middle- Thai Airways International is exincome consumers and... periencing an attitudinal U-turn as Full story at http://goo.gl/XUP70 it seeks to foster an unprecedented friendship with long-time arch riBGH plans to add val AirAsia. Sorajak Kasemsuvan, six more hospitals president of the country’s flag carThailand’s largest private hospital rier, personally made the overture group, Bangkok Dusit Medical Ser- during a recent meeting in Bangkok vices, plans to add six more hospitals with Tony Fernandes. this year, focusing mainly on Thailand. Att Thongtang, chief executive Mr Sorajak spoke about several coof the Phyathai Hospital Group and operation possibilities between the Paolo Memorial Hospital Group, 53-year-old airline and the 20-yearboth under the BGH umbrella, said old no-frills carrier including bethe parent has already added three coming code-share partners, a prohospitals, in Khon Kaen, Udon posal that is raising the eyebrows Thani and Chiang Mai provinces. of industry executives. Two other ideas he suggested were THAI, It also recently purchased Thon- AirAsia and Bangkok Airways joinburi Hospital, while last month the ing hands to develop a pilot training group opened a clinic in Myanmar, pool; and allowing AirAsia to use However, interest in this project does What surprised MasterCard the with more set for Mandalay and THAI’s aircraft maintenance... not lie only with the construction of most was the fact that in Thailand, Dawei. The move is part of BGH’s Full story at http://goo.gl/bxCR2


10

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs Tourism

http://goo.gl/fxE4d

Thailand plans to boost MICE sector Thailand is targeting significant growth in the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions sector in 2013. According to the latest figures from the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau, the country welcomed more than 895,200 MICE visitors in 2012, with the industry generating THB79.8 billion in revenues. As a result, TCEB has now increased its targets for 2013, with delegate numbers expected to reach 940,000 and revenues forecast to hit THB88bn. “Last year, TCEB’s efforts to boost Thailand’s MICE industry bore fruit.” said Thongchai Sridama, TCEB’s Acting President. “In view of this excellent performance and analysis of the prospects for 2013,

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Mid-April/Mid-May 2013

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: we have revised this year’s targets upwards by approximately 10% compared with our original estimates.” The MICE body is basing its optimism on the development of a new three-pronged growth strategy. Firstly, TCEB said it is planning to focus on market development, both domestic and overseas, with an emphasis on emerging markets. “For the international market, we aim to develop the potential of second tier cities in these countries, especially high-growth economic hubs,” Tongchai said. “For the domestic MICE industry, we plan to develop new ‘MICE cities’ including Khon Kaen and Hat Yai – both are major provincial centres with dedicated... Full story at http://goo.gl//P4Awo

Thailand one of the top 10

Thailand was ranked ninth in the Asia-Pacific region and 43rd globally on the 2013 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index, a study released by the World Economic Fo-

...added that the company had set aside a significant investment budget of Bt200 million to Bt300 million for overseas expansion. Full story at http://goo.gl/bH6PF

rum showed. In the Asia-Pacific, Singapore held the top rank, while Malaysia took the 8th place. Only three nations in Southeast Asia – Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand – made it to the top 10 countries in the region. Indonesia held the 12th place, followed by Brunei, Vietnam at 16th, the Philippines 17th and Cambodia holding the 20th place. Mingkwan Metmowlee, president of the Association of Thai Tourism Marketing, said this result was not surprising, especially in terms of Singapore and Malaysia beating Thailand because these two countries had achieved a world-class standard in the service industry, which attracted foreign tourists.

goo.gl/bH6PF

cially the government, to help solve the problem and boost the country’s image in the world tourism map. The TTCI aims to measure the factors and policies that make it easy to develop the travel and tourism sector in different nations, in cooperation with companies and... Full story at http://goo.gl/XySOK

Internet connectivity a must in hotels for global travellers, survey reveals

Wi-Fi is now a must-have amenity that all hotels worldwide must provide to attract travellers, according to a survey. Hotels.com’s latest research showed that topping the list of must-have hotel amenities are “Look at the safety issue, for in- free Wi-Fi and free food and beverstance. In Singapore, foreign tourists ages, with caffeine being a must. All can stroll around at night without the rest is just extra. any fear. This is a result of its strong law-enforcement methods. In com- Free Wi-Fi trumps both free parking parison, our country still lags far and complimentary breakfast when behind.” She added that Thai tour- it comes to choosing a hotel for both ism was still plagued by problems leisure and business travel, showing and it was time for all parties, espe- that access to the online world is a


2

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

Briefs

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General Inte

Use the QR Code reader in your smartphone to see all the stories in a certain category. necessity for modern-day travellers with more than a third still looking to stay connected while on their holidays. In fact just 11 per cent of global travellers said they would be willing to pay for Wi-Fi when staying in a hotel.

rest

December 20 11

To read the fu ll article of a story brief, 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF enter the shMid-April/Mid-May ort code at th ...added that the set aside a signi company had e end the story into budget of Bt20 ficant investment goo.gl/bH6P your browser: of million for over0 million to Bt300 seas expansion F liam Shakespe Full story at http: . //goo.gl/b are

H6PF Nature and life in JuliusCaesar. 1997-98 wa are cyclical _ the impact of s a blessing, as the mains seasons of the yea 2008 would ha above the Europ the phases of the r, life and death, far worse ve been ean average. for the region, http://goo.gl/o ” Azman In Caught up in da moon, the tides. Mokhtar, zbNM India, China the managing ily details, we eas and Thailand, ily forget that dir ect of or Kh Asia stands to rou aza ghly 12 percent nah the business wo of has cycles, too. rld told the CI Nasional of Malaysia, tion contribute to a the populaWe are all fam MB Asean Confe gain from W pension, while iliar with the econo rence. the we es t mi ak c ne bu sse sin s ess of cycle His com slowdown of expansion, con sion system are Thailand’s penments were... ... covery. Howe traction and re- Full story Full story at htt The shift of eco ver, other cyc at http://goo.gl/d nomic growth p:/ /goo.gl/rtpH3 lic ph al fu2 en u om ena affect... momentum to the Thailand near Preventing up numerous East has opened Full story at http://goo.gl/fJ to p opportunities olr of list of wor that Asian countries Bangkok from out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia bett weakest pensld’s sinking bigges economist. io off, not immun er n t systems: stud challenge The robust eco y from global cr e, no Greece, India, Ch Land subsidence China and em mic growth of is es ina and Thailand erging economi caused by groun are home to the water losses top will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : The As d weake w s ian cri- pensi on systems in st national lems that must the list of probAsian economi opportunity for sis in the late 1990s was a wa es to increase the be the kesol cal up ved wo l for in rld cri Ba , the region that pp wealth from tra ir has turned eig led by a mix of acute sover- kok to mitigate the impact ngde in goods an out to be of the n debt, young climate change services at a tim a blessing in d retire dis e on States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as the guise high ratios of pension ment ages, a study by multin flooding, says region’s ers an ers to worke ational agencies financial sec Full story at htt are... d . p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now strong and study poor pension take-up, a The conclusio showed. tain a certain n de is gre contained in of shocks from e Grow with th a rep ort the entitled “Clim e flow Western Hemi fallout in the The Allianz ate Risks and Ad of cycles sphere, accord ing sion Susta Global Investors Pen- Megac aptation in Asian Coastal to a panellist at a recent As inability Index, ities”, jointly con ‘There is a tid ean conference. ducted by the which Asian De tracks the rel e velop ati men, which, tak in the affairs of ity of nationa ve sustainabil- Internation ment Bank, the Japan l al leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi in 44 countries pension systems and the Wo Cooperation Agency ll be more crises tune”, wrote Wi around the wo rld Bank in 201 l- future, an in the showe rld, 0. d the Asian crisis in tirees d the number of Greek reThe report recom to people of wo rking age reFull story at htt mended a... p://goo.gl/20yMD

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food restaurants around the world by 2017, up from 1,381 now. “We are looking to have new food brands to strengthen our business. We bought the Riverside food brand in China last year and it will be a new revenue generator for us in the coming year,” he said.

“With an increase in airlines and airports offering free Wi-Fi, tech- Minor is looking for opportunities savvy travellers expect the... to buy hospitality-related businesses Full story at http://goo.gl/EKZ0B in Africa, India, Australia and the Middle East, where it already... TAT governor Full story at http://goo.gl/KrPnv

says his successor must strive for sustainability

Suraphon Svetasreni, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, who will complete his term in December, has urged the next governor to continue striving for sustainability of the country’s tourism industry and make maximum use of its own resources to reduce its dependence on the state. One example of the country’s tourism resources is its golf courses, which Suraphon said should be used for maximum benefit. Effective management will help strengthen the TAT’s activities, especially in carrying out in research projects. Suraphon said he was pleased with what he had been able to achieve since taking office in January 2010. During the past three years, he has met big challenges threatening to undermine the national tourism industry. They included violent political demonstrations in Bangkok, deadly bombings in the South, and the flood crisis in 2011. He set up an intelligence unit to monitor news around the world. This helped the agency keep abreast of tourists’ changing lifestyles. In 2010, 15.93 million foreign tourists came to... Full story at http://goo.gl/mMBWl

Minor plans B40bn expansion

SET-listed hospitality company Minor International Plc is set to spend 40 billion baht to expand its hotel and food businesses from 2013-17. Of the budget, 20-25 billion baht will be poured into opening new hotels and restaurants under existing brands, while another 15 billion baht will be used to create new business.

PM wants quality rather than quantity in tourism growth

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra expressed concern to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports that the country’s service quality may not be able to keep pace with the growing tourism industry, resulting in loss of competitiveness. Clearly, the number of foreign tourists has grown continuously in the past years. Last year, 22.4 million people came here. This year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand projects that the number will increase 11 per cent to 24.5 million. The facilities the country has, especially Suvarnabhumi Airport, would not be enough to welcome them, she said. She suggested that the country should control the number of foreign tourists coming here. And at the same time, the Kingdom should keep more focus on upscale tourists to increase tourism revenue. The country should look for ways to increase the number of days tourists spend as well as spending by foreign tourists. The PM also advised that... Full story at http://goo.gl/MDSvF

Dusit envisions hospitality upgrade

Dusit International has more than 60 years’ experience in the hotel and hospitality field. Founded in 1949 by honorary chairwoman Thanpuying Chanut Piyaoui, whose first hotel was The Princess on Bangkok’s Charoen Krung Road, DTC has since acquired a unique portfolio of distinctive hotels in Thailand and abroad. Chanin Donavanik, the managing director and chief executive, discusses the company’s strategy and outlook. What is DTC’s business model?

Vice-president Chaiwat Paithoon said Minor will have almost 2,500 DTC has three core businesses:

owning hotel assets, hotel management and education. We have been a hotel owner for a very long time, and currently the majority of the hotels we own are predominantly in Thailand. However, we are looking to expand our investments abroad. Our second business, hotel management, is a natural extension of hotel ownership. We manage most of our own hotels, and in fact there are only two we do not own.

11

land as one of the country’s important tourism markets.

While declining to predict how many Thai tourists would visit her country this year, she said the trend was good because no major natural disasters had hit the Kingdom since 2011 to undermine tourists’ sentiment. From February 2012 to January this year, 16,928 Thai tourists travelled to New Zealand, representing a 3-per-cent drop from the... Finally, in education, Dusit Thani Full story at http://goo.gl/kd5Ek College has been focused on the hospitality business for 20 years. We Burasiri aims to have partnered with Ecole Hoteliere build international de Lausanne, one of the top hotel hotel chain schools in Switzerland, and also initiated a programme with the Ly- Burasari Group is looking for busiceum of the Philippines University... ness opportunities in Asia to build Full story at http://goo.gl/0H0LC up its hotel chain and increase its international profile. It is interested Boutique hotel in Sri Lanka and Asean countries, opportunities including Myanmar. However, its expansion plan will go step by step for Thais to secure its investment. In Asean, Abandoned colonial buildings in the investment climate is still unYangon could be golden opportunidermined by unclear regulations ties for Thai firms to turn them into from country to country, according hotels, which are in high demand to to MD Lily Udomkunnatum. serve the rising number of visitors. Myanmar is the latest destination Last December, the firm opened on the list of travellers and businessthe four-star Burasari Heritage Lumen from around the world as the ang Prabang in Laos, its first hotel country emerges from decades of abroad, at a cost of Bt125 million, isolation. Last year, over one million which offers 23 rooms. The firm visitors made their way to the counoperates two hotels in Thailand – try, compared with 816,000 in 2011. Burasari Resort Patong in Phuket and Shanghai Mansion in BangBut Myanmar is suffering from kok. It expects its future expansion a major shortage of hotel rooms. to help raise its chain profile in the There are only about 28,000 rooms international market before beginacross the country. However, in ning to expand into the hotel-manevery obstacle lies an opportunity. agement business. Under its investMany long-neglected buildings, forment plan, it would be required to merly government offices, line the construct a hotel of more than 100 streets of Yangon after government rooms at each location to get a quick offices were relocated to the new return on investment. Each concapital of Nay Pyi Taw. These buildstruction is expected to cost more... ings were mostly built in the 19th Full story at http://goo.gl/XHeP7 century when Myanmar was part of the British Empire. They are rich in Songkran a big cultural heritage, built in the Euro- splash with Chinese pean style. There are 187 of them on the Yangon City Heritage List of old The three-day Songkran festival buildings and structures, waiting... next month is expected to attract a Full story at http://goo.gl/GXiVq record number of Chinese tourists to Chiang Mai that will generate beNZ sees Thailand tween 400 and 500 million baht in at heart of SE Asia tourism revenue for the northern province. An estimated 60,000 holiin push for daymakers were expected to arrive more visitors in the province during the festival, New Zealand this year is placing Wisoot Buachoom, director of TAT greater emphasis on attracting tour- Northern Region Office, said. An ists from Southeast Asia, where increase in the number of Chinese it considers Thailand to be a hub visitors to the province was already within the emerging region. Mischa noticeable and likely to hit a record Mannix-Opie, Tourism New Zea- high. This was because the popularland’s regional manager for South ity of the Chinese comedy movie... and Southeast Asia, described Thai- Full story at http://goo.gl/gdkn3


12

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs Real Estate

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Office tenants need to plan ahead amid robust demand Long gone are the days where office tenants have an infinite choice of buildings and space. The office market in Bangkok today has evolved to become a landlord’s market, a big turnaround from less than five years ago post the global crisis. In fact, the office market has not seen the momentum it has today since before the 1997 Asian crisis. We believe that with the country’s positive macroeconomic outlook, a healthy demand for office space will continue to be sustained. It is essential for tenants to plan their future space requirements carefully, whether this is for a new office or those seeking to relocate or expand. With a vacancy rate of only 12.1 per cent across the market for both CBD and non-CBD offices, the market is limited in supply. A combination of factors has led to this present market condition where landlords are in a position of strength. Demand for office space has been growing, future supply is limited and rents are on the rise. Last year saw the total nettake up being doubled from 2011 levels to 160,000 square metres... Full story at http://goo.gl/35T3b

Chiang Mai condos selling like hot cakes

Condominiums are a hot-ticket item in Chiang Mai nowadays, with a take-up rate of 72%, says a report by the Real Estate Information Center. Director-general Samma Kitsin said 10 of the 44 condo projects launched for sale up there are nearly sold out. Most of these 44 were launched over the past two years and almost all are in Muang district. From October-February, 19 condo projects offering a combined 3,000 units were launched, worth a combined 10 billion baht. The average project size was five rai, with most featuring less than 200 units. Most (68%) were priced from 1-2 million baht, followed by 2-3 million (17%) and 3-5 million (10%). Most were one-bedroom units, and 72% of all

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Mid-April/Mid-May 2013

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser:

...added that the company had set aside a significant investment budget of Bt200 million to Bt300 million for overseas expansion. Full story at http://goo.gl/bH6PF

units have been sold with a monthly capital, citing a National Economic take-up rate of 19.6%. and Social Development Board study showing that greater BangSome 69% of units are being built, kok contributed to only 44 per cent 25% have not begun construction, of the economy in 2010, which was and only 6% have been completed. lower than the 52-per-cent contriOf the 19 condo projects launched bution in 2001. This ratio means in the past five months, 15 were lo- the provinces now have a greater cated in Muang district and four in... influence in the nation’s economic Full story at http://goo.gl/X5Htt growth. As a result, property firms have decided to expand their investLand prices soar ment into the provinces since 2010. as new projects “When comparing the country’s economic growth this year to that of launched 1997, it is clear that the economy has Land prices in the central business changed in line with the country’s district of Udon Thani have risen environment,” he said. from an average of Bt20 million per rai two years ago to Bt40 million The factors contributing to this are now, with condominium projects lower interest rates, 3 per cent comcomprising more than 2,100 units pared to 10 per cent in 1997, which being launched this year. The area makes it easier for commercial subject to the doubling in land value banks to approve loans for projects runs from Phosri Road to the main and mortgages. The second factor thoroughfare passing Central Plaza is that Thailand now has credit buUdon Thani at Sri Chan Road, ac- reaux, which were lacking in 1997. cording to a survey by Century 21 Lastly, property firms nowadays are Realty Affiliate. able to restrict their debt-to-equity ratio to no more than 2:1, someMeanwhile, a survey has found that thing they were unable to do in... 2,139 units worth Bt3 billion are in Full story at http://goo.gl/uZyhv the pipeline. The first of these projects is the Aspire condominium SCG’s new homes by Asian Property Development, aimed at comprising 413 units worth Bt660 middle class million, with the next in line being LPN Development’s Lumpini Place After introducing SCG Heim modUD-Pho Sri, with 1,400 units worth ular homes priced at 10 million Bt1.9 billion. Then there is the Kal- baht a unit a few years ago, Siam lapapruk City Plus by CP Land, Cement Group launched new dewhich has 158 units worth about signs priced 40% lower to tap the Bt250 million, followed by the Sky middle-income market, aiming for Land condominium by Sky Land, sales of 240 units this year. Wachiraa local developer. This project will chai Koonamwattana, the managing have 168 units worth Bt200 million. director of SCG-Sekisui Sales Co, a subsidiary of Thailand’s top indus“We know Sansiri is also interested trial conglomerate, said the new dein developing a condominium proj- signs with a starting unit price of 5.9 ect in Udon Thani, as it is ready to million baht will grab market share buy land located close to the CBD,” in the self-built home market. said an Udon Thani landowner... Full story at http://goo.gl/OmRxM Last year, about 2,500 units in this price range were newly registered Sansiri chief with the Lands Department. Some denies existence of 500 units were built by homebuilders and the rest by individual conproperty bubble tractors. “Self-built homes often The property market is still showing face an uncontrollable budget, and strong growth thanks to the coun- labour shortages are now a big probtry’s expanding economy, Sansiri lem,” said Mr Wachirachai. “SCG Plc’s president Srettha Thavisin said Heim homes have a fixed price on in an interview with The Nation. He the first day and are completed on also denied the existence of a mar- schedule, as they depend less on laket bubble. bour.”

goo.gl/bH6PF

home, he said. SCG Heim touts worry-free construction, high indoor air quality and an earthquakesafe steel structure. After-sales service and routine check-ups are available throughout... Full story at http://goo.gl/IYzct

Land prices double in Songkhla, Phuket since 2010

Land prices in Phuket and Songkhla more than doubled last year from 2010 on booming demand for residences. Issara Boonyoung, president of the Housing Business Association, said land in Phuket cost Bt4 million per rai (Bt25 million per hectare) last year compared with the average of Bt2 million per rai in 2010. More property firms have come to the resort province from Bangkok and local developers have expanded their investment there. “We launched our first townhouse project with 175 units in Thalang district of Phuket worth Bt400 million early this year and now it has already sold out,” said Issara, who is also the owner and chief executive officer of Kanda Group. Atip Bichanond, MD of Supalai, which develops residential projects in Phuket and Songkhla, said land prices in Phuket and Hat Yai had been on an uptrend since 2010. The two factors driving demand for land and housing in both provinces are their strong economies, which boost local purchasing power, and buyers from outside, such as Bangkok, who are looking for a vacation home. Foreigners are also... Full story at http://goo.gl/Iay3a

12 new zones to be offered for development

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand will invite estate operators to develop 12 industrial zones nationwide on 18,000 rai (2,880 hectares), with an expected investment of Bt27 billion. Industry Ministry permanent secretary Vitoon Simachokdee said the IEAT’s board saw the need to set up additional industrial zones, which would be divided into three categories. The first is for local and foreign small and medium-sized enterprises. This category He explained that the Thai economy After piling work, it takes about four will be established in the Northern, was not just driven by that of the months to complete an SCG Heim Northeastern and Central regions.


2

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

Briefs13

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-April/Mid-May 2013

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Use the QR Code reader in your smartphone to see all the stories in a certain category. The second category will be the Chiang Khong logistic zone in Chiang Rai, and the third will be for industrial zones in eight provinces – Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Mukdahan, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom and Nong Khai.

rest

To read the fu ll article of a story brief, enter the shor t code at the end the story into your browser: of liam Shakespe are

...added that the set aside a signi company had budget of Bt20 ficant investment million for over0 million to Bt300 seas expansion Full story at http: . //goo.gl/bH6PF

goo.gl/bH6P

F

Nature and life in JuliusCaesar. 1997-98 wa are cyclical _ the impact of s a blessing, as the mains seasons of the yea 2008 would ha above the Europ the phases of the r, life and death, far worse ve been ean average. for the region, mo http://goo.gl/o on, the tides. ” Azman In Caught up in da zbNM India, China ily details, we eas Mokhtar, the managing and Thailand, ily forget that dir ect of or Kh Asia stands to rou aza ghly 12 percent nah the business wo of has cycles, too. rld told the CI Nasional of Malaysia, tion contribute to a the populaWe are all fam MB Asean Confe gain from W pension, while iliar with the econo rence. the we es t mi ak c ne bu sse sin s ess of cycle His com slowdown of expansion, con sion system are Thailand’s penments were... ... covery. Howe traction and re- Full story Full story at htt The shift of eco ver, other cyc at http://goo.gl/d nomic growth p:/ /goo.gl/rtpH3 lic ph al fu2 en u om ena affect... momentum to the Thailand near Preventing up numerous East has opened Full story at http://goo.gl/fJ to p opportunities olr of list of wor that Asian countries Bangkok from out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia bett weakest pensld’s sinking bigges economist. io off, not immun er n t systems: stud challenge The robust eco y from global cr e, no Greece, India, Ch Land subsidence China and em mic growth of is es ina and Thailand erging economi caused by groun are home to the water losses top will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : The As d weake w s ian cri- pensi on systems in st national lems that must the list of probAsian economi opportunity for sis in the late 1990s was a wa es to increase the be the kesol cal up ved wo l for in rld cri Ba , the region that pp wealth from tra ir has turned eig led by a mix of acute sover- kok to mitigate the impact ngde in goods an out to be of the n debt, young climate change services at a tim a blessing in d retire dis e on States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as the guise high ratios of pension ment ages, a study by multin flooding, says region’s ers an ers to worke ational agencies financial sec Full story at htt are... d . p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now strong and study poor pension take-up, a The conclusio showed. tain a certain n C de is gre contained in of shocks from e Grow with th a rep ort the entitled “Clim e flow Western Hemi fallout in the The Allianz ate Risks and Ad of cycles sphere, accord M ing sion Susta Global Investors Pen- Megac aptation in Asian Coastal to a panellist at a recent As inability Index, ities”, jointly con ‘There is a tid ean conference. ducted by the which Asian De tracks the rel Y e velop ati men, which, tak in the affairs of ity of nationa ve sustainabil- Internation ment Bank, the Japan l al flood CM leads on to for en at the in 44 countries pension systems and the Wo Cooperation Agency tune”, wrote Wi , “There will be more crises around the wo rld Bank in 201 l- future, an in the showe rld, 0. d the Asian MY crisis in tirees d the number of Greek reThe report recom to people of wo rking age reCY Full story at htt mended a... p://goo.gl/20yMD Sponsored by

...

these types of sites to come back on to the market, he said.

A number of these large public sites connect to existing mass-transit infrastructure, while transit-oriented development has evolved organically in Bangkok, with businesses, retailers and residents being drawn The IEAT will provide incentives to urban-rail... such as a waiver of the authority’s Full story at http://goo.gl/bXISF service fee for two years, financing for one-stop service offices covering Ananda plots 500 square metres and not exceed- return to black on ing Bt10 million for each zone, plus revenue burst a campaign to draw businesses to set up factories in the zones. Ananda Development Plc, a SETlisted property developer, plans to The IEAT will this month accept ap- double its revenue this year to 11 plications from industrial-zone op- to 12.5 billion baht, returning the erators to develop these zones. company to profit. To achieve the revenue target, Ananda plans to recThe IEAT expects that the develop- ognise revenue contributions from ment of these 12 zones will require four projects worth a combined 6.7 18,000 rai and cost Bt27 billion. The billion under the Ideo Mobi coninvestment by businesses setting up dominium brand, seven residential in the zones is expected to be Bt517 projects surrounding Suvarnabhubillion and to create... mi Airport worth 2.5 billion under Full story at http://goo.gl/DU7Oe the Atoll brand, and the Ad2 project worth 2.8 billion. CMY

K

Bangkok developers renew interest in large land

Property firms are focusing on developing large plots of land as smaller pieces of prime land around central Bangkok become scarcer, Jones Lang LaSalle has observed. “After Bangkok’s real-estate boom in the late 1980s and early 1990s, developer interest in large public sites virtually disappeared for several years as the Asian financial crisis curtailed economic activity and new real-estate development,” said Dan Tantisun-thorn, head of research and consultancy at the realestate services firm. “The prospects for such large sites was [revitalised] by the economic recovery in the middle of the last decade, with the Suan Lum Night Bazaar site owned by the Crown Property Bureau representing the last leasehold site of more than 50 rai [8 hectares] to be publicly tendered in central Bangkok in 2005.” However, an uncertain domestic political environment and the global financial crisis again put these types of projects on the back burner. The return of a more stable political environment over the past year and a half and strong economic growth are again raising the prospects for

Executive chairman Chanond Ruangkritya said the company just unveiled a condominium under the new Elio brand near the Punnawithi skytrain station worth 4.8 billion baht. The average price is 1.29 million baht per unit and over 50% of the units have been booked. A highend condo that is ready-to-move will launch – the Ashton-Morph 38 on Sukhumvit Soi 38. Ananda expects it will generate revenue this year. Sermsak Khwanpuang, the chief investment officer, expected the company to wipe out retained losses of 624 million baht and return to the black this year. The company plans to grow 25% with total revenue of 13.5 billion baht in 2014 and 17... Full story at http://goo.gl/VGlT8

Is this a case of deja vu all over again?

When the 1997 financial crisis broke, fingers were first pointed at the property sector, with its massive speculation and huge loan defaults, as a root cause of the meltdown. In recent years, property prices have again risen sharply, and new projects can be seen virtually everywhere, prompting fresh concerns about whether bad history is going... Full story at http://goo.gl/WSZ1C

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14

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs IT / Comms

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DTAC slow-plays 3G roll-out The number of 3G wireless broadband users in Thailand will more than double this year, increasing to 25 million as mobile operators compete in the promising new field, says an executive of DTAC. The country’s second-largest mobile operator expects the number of its 3G users on both the 850- and 2100-megahertz frequency to triple to 10 million this year, said DTAC marketing head Pakorn Pannachet. Operators are gearing up to roll out their 3G services on the 2100-MHz frequency in an effort to escape the shackles of their current concession contracts and move to a cheaper licensing regime. But DTAC plans to launch its 2100-MHz 3G services in late June, ignoring plans by rivals AIS and True Move to start services earlier, said Mr Pakorn. AIS plans to roll out its 3G services next month, while True Move wants to start 4G services next month. DTAC has 15,700 base stations nationwide, of which 10,500 are 2G bases and 5,200 are for 3G.

www.BBBrief.com

Mid-April/Mid-May 2013

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: nouncement that it will launch a 4G service with 300 sites next month. True Move has 3 million subscribers using the 850-MHz bandwidth for its 3G service. Customers using 2G and 3G services on the 2G frequencies for AIS and Total Access Communication networks are facing network congestion as demand for mobile data services explodes in tandem with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets. “We need to speed up our 3G service roll-out with a nationwide network to reduce possible setbacks,” said Wichian Mektrakarn, AIS’s chief executive, said AIS plans to have 20,000 3G base stations on the 2.1-GHz bandwidth. AIS has 14,000 3G base stations running on the 900-MHz frequency and thousands of bases on 3G HSPA... Full story at http://goo.gl/7LnSH

TrueVisions may yet air EPL

TrueVisions, the country’s largest pay-TV operator, is interested in sub-lease broadcast rights for English Premier League football from Cable Thai Holding, the new rights holder. Industry analysts view the move as TrueVisions lunging to prevent subscriber loss, though the company says its churn rate is only 1%. “We’re open to every option with CTH, but we can’t expect we will come to terms as CTH hasn’t Mr Pakorn said all 15,700 base sta- finalised talks with anybody,” said tions have 3G-ready equipment. COO Ongard Prapakamol. DTAC also holds the rights to operate mobile services on three bands CTH, the newly established cable _ the 850-, 1800- and 2100-MHz TV operator, secured the EPL frequencies, which its rivals can- broadcast rights for the next three not claim. DTAC operates 2G mo- seasons starting this August for bile service on the 1800-MHz band an unofficial sum of 10 billion under a concession with CAT Tele- baht, four to five times higher than com, which is due to... TrueVisions’ bill for the 2010-2012 Full story at http://goo.gl/jXo5D seasons. Mr Ongard said the sublease will depend on the price, the AIS jumps the gun number and quality of matches, as on 3G launch well as the broadcast definition. AIS will officially launch its 3G commercial service on the 2100-mega- It was reported earlier CTH had hertz frequency in April, one month some problems with small cable TV ahead of schedule, in a bid to com- operators that were unhappy with pete for market supremacy. The strict conditions in the partnership country’s largest mobile operator contracts with CTH. This could afaims to maintain its leadership of fect CTH’s broadcast network in the the cellular market by becoming coming months. Up to now, CTH... more competitive in the 3G market, Full story at http://goo.gl/KJczT where its smaller rival True Move Grass roots leads the way.

innovators

The move by AIS is in response to AIS and DTAC are connecting talthird-ranked True Move’s recent an- ented app developers to the growing

...added that the company had set aside a significant investment budget of Bt200 million to Bt300 million for overseas expansion. Full story at http://goo.gl/bH6PF

smartphone marker – giant companies that used to be pioneers of innovation are being accused of a lack of creativity and new ideas. On the other hand, the trend is for commercial innovation to move across enterprise boundaries, so ideas and designs often come from the masses. However, a push from big industry players is urgently needed to connect this unparalleled grassroots creativity to the market.

goo.gl/bH6PF

RS chats with CTH about La Liga rights

RS Plc, Thailand’s second-largest entertainment company, is in talks with Cable Thai Holding to sublease La Liga broadcast rights on high definition to the latter. “Apart from the La Liga deal, we are also negotiating to allow CTH to broadcast our content such as Channel 8, You Channel, Sabaidee Channel and Star Max, on its cable network Through its AIS the Startup project, in the future,” said chief operating Thailand’s biggest mobile network officer Pornpan Techarungchaikul. operator, Advanced Info Service Plc, is trying to find a strategic way to RS believes the move will earn more satisfy customer needs while bring- advertising revenue and maximise ing scattered talented ideas to mar- content usage. Although CTH has ket. Initiated in 2011, the project has some problems with small cable attracted about 300 new mobile app operators, its cable TV platform has developers who submit proposals the potential to allow RS to access a on the company’s website. If the idea wider viewer base. is good, appointments will be made to discuss co-developing the app. RS holds La Liga broadcast rights for AIS also cooperates with partners three seasons, from 2012-2014. The such as Nokia in organising app de- Spanish football matches air on Sun velopment contests in response to... Channel, formerly RS Sport La Liga Full story at http://goo.gl/Me07P Channel on satellite TV. RS plans to generate additional income from La Nation Group’s Liga by launching pay-TV service SEA Channel takes on its Sun Box receiver this August. Sun Box customers are receiving the to the airwaves first season of La Liga for free. From SEA Channel, a new English-lan- the second season they must pay... guage news service of the Nation Full story at http://goo.gl/lZneG Multimedia Group, debuted, offering stories from the 10 Asean Microsoft to shift countries with an emphasis on eco- away from software nomic developments and business Microsoft, the world’s largest softopportunities. The channel will be ware maker, is transforming itself the first Thai broadcaster to offer into a devices and services compacomprehensive coverage of what is ny with an eye on the fast revenue considered to be the world’s fastest- growth in mobile and cloud margrowing region. kets. The US-based firm is facing a wave of challenges from Google’s It will initially be aired as part of Android operating system and ApKrungthep Turakij TV, Thailand’s ple iOS, which dominate the smartleading business television channel, phone and tablet markets, while which has been on air since Sep- Microsoft’s Windows flags as the PC tember. SEA Channel will eventu- market sags. ally become a full-fledged satellite channel on its own. SEA Channel’s Industry analysts predict Thailand’s launch coincides with the launch of personal computer market will see the Asean Economic Community. negative growth, with a best-case scenario of 4% growth this year. The Bangkok-based TV service will Haresh Khoobchandani, the newly initially concentrate on countries appointed managing director of Miin the Mekong region – Cambo- crosoft (Thailand), said Microsoft dia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and is gearing up to promote its WinVietnam as well as southern China, dows 8 operating system on PCs, which have strong economic links notebooks and mobile phones. The with the region. “SEA Channel aims company will also focus on New Ofto be a leading voice for Southeast fice, productivity software, and proAsia by offering comprehensive viding Thai language support. news reports and in-depth... Full story at http://goo.gl/tKshF Mr Khoobchandani said Thailand


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BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

Briefs15

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-April/Mid-May 2013

General Inte

Use the QR Code reader in your smartphone to see all the stories in a certain category. has a huge market with 70 million people. He expects it to have a competitive advantage in the upcoming Asean Economic Community. Microsoft will also focus on the educational market, but he did not... Full story at http://goo.gl/ayKBA

True Internet touts Asia’s first-ever 100 Gbps network

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To read the fu ll article of a story brief, enter the shor t code at the end the story into your browser: of liam Shakespe are

...added that the set aside a signi company had budget of Bt20 ficant investment million for over0 million to Bt300 seas expansion Full story at http: . //goo.gl/bH6PF

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...

The thriving middle class is also bumping up the need of enterprises to improve their CRM software to meet increased expectations. In addition, the Asean Economic Community will push organisations to prepare for single-market potential, Mr Kontopoulos said. SAP now offers the new SAP 360 customer solution, enabling personalised customer engagement in bringing organisations closer to their customers. The solution is a bundle of on-premise and on-demand CRM software. Mr Kontopoulos said the software allows a... Full story at http://goo.gl/zl8q3

True Internet, the online arm of True Corporation, is spending 100 million baht to upgrade its core network and offer speeds of 100 gigabits per second to serve increasing bandwidth usage. The so-called 100G wavelength platform is expected to handle demand for the Telenor wants next three years, said Vasu Khunva- ex-DTAC marketing si, general manager of True Internet. exec Thana The upgraded network has a maximum capacity to provide 400 Gbps. Norway’s telecommunications giant Telenor has approached Thai True is using Cisco’s Nexus 7000 marketing whiz Thana Thienachaswitching system for what it calls riya about becoming the head of its Asia’s first 100 Gbps IP network. The marketing team, which is part of the new technology could ease internet company’s global team that will bid bottleneck problems and reduce the for telecom licences to be issued by number of fibre-optic connectors the Myanmar authorities. Telenor is from 12 to four, cutting costs by at the strategic partner of Total Access least 20%. Communication (DTAC), at which Thana was once the marketing ex“The upgrade is to cater to surg- ecutive. ing demand for faster high-speed broadband internet,” Mr Vasu said. In May 2011, he left DTAC to be The average retail customer uses 12 chief executive officer of PK GarMbps speeds, while corporate cus- ment (Import-Export), the manutomers use speeds ranging from 2 facturer and distributor of Mc Jeans, Mbps to 1 Gbps. Mr Vasu said the before parting from that company to upgrade is aimed at accommodat- become chief executive of GMMZ, ing the group’s future services based the satellite-TV business of GMM on video and the cloud. True Move Grammy, last February. Thana reis preparing a new personal mobile signed from GMMZ in January. storage service, and True Internet plans to offer on-demand video... Sigve Brekke, head of Telenor Asia, Full story at http://goo.gl/MzlQf acknowledged that he had approached Thana about the MyanSAP offers client mar mission. Thana said he is eatool applications ger to take on the new job, which Intensifying competition and the he added would give him a chance growing popularity of mobility are to work with Brekke, his mentor, the main driving forces for enter- again. The Norwegian is a former prises to expedite investment in chief executive officer of DTAC. customer relationship management in Asia. Thana cited two other reasons that make the task an interesting one: Nicholas Kontopoulos, the senior that it would give him a chance to director for global marketing at work alongside Telenor’s global SAP, the developer of business ap- high-calibre team members, and plication software, said consumer that the Myanmar government is behaviours moving more towards opening up the country. Telenor is mobility and the growing popularity one of 91 global telecom giants havof social media are crucial for evalu- ing submitted expressions of interest ating the real potential for multi- for telecom licences to be issued... channel customer management. Full story at http://goo.gl/X5l7v

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16

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

B www.BBBrief.com riefs

Mid-April/Mid-May 2013

The Chambers

General Inte

rest

liam Shakespe are Nature and life ar seasons of the yea the phases of the r http://goo.gl/o Caught up in da m zbNM ily ily forget that Asia stands to the b has cycles, too. We a gain from W with the econo mi slowdown est of expansion, con c tra cov ery. However, The shift of eco o no mentum to the mic growth mo- phenomena affect... up numerous East has opened Full story at http://go op Asian countries portunities that out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia b economist. off, not immu The robust eco fr om global c nomic growth China and em of erging economi will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : Th w opportunity sis in the late 1990 for Asian economi s was es wealth from tra to increase their call for the region that de in goods an out to be services at a tim a blessing i d e States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as t e financial sec Full story at htt are... p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now s tain a cer of shocks from the ta Grow with th fallo e fl ow We ste rn Hemisphere, of cycles to a panellist at a rece ‘There is a tid con ference. e men, which, tak in the affairs of leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi ll be more cris tune”, wrote Wi l- future, an d the Asian Sponsored by

Use your smartphone’s QR Code scanner or enter the short code to go directly to AMCHAM’s website.

...

The American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AMCHAM) 7th Floor, GPF Witthayu Tower A, 93/1 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 (0)2 254 1041 Fax: +66 (0)2 251 1605 Website: www.amchamthailand.com Email: service@amchamthailand.com

Each year, the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) hosts more than 200 events. The majority of these events are organized by AMCHAM’s 24 committees, which provide forums for Chamber members to discuss topical issues, collaborate on potential initiatives or action, as well as participate in the various networking and social aspects of AMCHAM. Below are samplings of AMCHAM’s March 2013 committee meetings.

http://goo.gl/mbUpG

Energy and Environment On March 19, Mathee Supapongse, Senior Director of Macroeconomic and Monetary Policy Department, Bank of Thailand, provided an update on the latest BOT economic report, focusing particularly on the European sovereign debt situation. Mr. Supapongse discussed how the stimulus measures and public investment will shape the Thai economy in the next year, and also highlighted how rising exports and increasing private consumption will help Thailand to achieve a targeted 4.9% GDP rate of growth.

Business Economics On March 26, Dr. Supavud Saicheua, Managing Director, Phatra Capital Public Company Limited and Head of Research, Phatra Securities Public Company Limited, delivered a presentation discussing Thailand’s Food and Agri-Business economic outlook for 2013. On March 22, Food and Agri-Business committee members toured the Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group’s new rice processing center in Dr. Saicheua reviewed the term “Risk On, Risk Off ” (or RORO), the Ayutthaya province. The center is a state-of-the art facility and the which has become a widely-used phrase in describing an investment first phase of a Baht 10 billion industrial estate that houses a number of environment in which asset prices are largely driven by how the appetite rice-based manufacturing activities. The output from the plant, mostly for risk advances or retreats over time, usually in a synchronized way premium-grade rice, will be exported to 120 countries, with the balance across the world. marketed locally under Royal Umbrella Brand. Tax On March 21, the Tax committee met at the AMCHAM Ford Boardroom to hear the presentation “Transfer Pricing: Navigating the Complexities of Cross-Border Transactions,” delivered by Santana Saksudhayakom, KPMG Advisor and former Revenue Department officer, and Abhisit Pinmaneekul, Executive Director, KPMG.

Business Economics Committee members (from left): Travis White, Peggy Creveling (committee leader), Darren Buckley (board liaison), Teera Phutrakul (committee leader), Dr. Supavud Saicheua (speaker), Kenneth White (committee leader) and Pornlert Lattanan (board of governor).

AMCHAM March Monthly Lunch: The Asian Auto Market On March 28, Michael J. Dunne, one of the world’s foremost experts on the Asian auto industry, spoke to AMCHAM members and guests about Thailand’s and ASEAN’s auto industry and the expected effect of China’s entrance into the region’s auto industry and market. Mr. Dunne is president of Dunne & Company, a Hong Kong-based consultancy specializing in Asian car markets. He is the author of American Wheels, Chinese Roads: The Story of General Motors in China.

To rea enter the sto

AMCHAM President Matt Bradley (right) introduces American Wheels, Chinese Roads author Michael Dunne (left).


2

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

Briefs 17

www.BBBrief.com

Mid-April/Mid-May 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

The Chambers

General Inte

rest

liam Shakespe are Nature and life ar seasons of the yea the phases of the r http://goo.gl/o Caught up in da m zbNM ily ily forget that Asia stands to the b has cycles, too. We gain from W with the econo mi slowdown est of expansion, con c tra cov ery. However, The shift of eco o no mentum to the mic growth mo- phenomena affect... up numerous East has opened Full story at http://go op Asian countries portunities that out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia b economist. off, not immu The robust eco fr om global c nomic growth China and em of erging economi will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : Th w opportunity sis in the late 1990 for Asian economi s wa es wealth from tra to increase their call for the region that de in goods an out to be services at a tim a blessing i d e States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as t e financial sec Full story at htt are... p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now tain a cer of shocks from the ta Grow with th fallo e fl ow We ste rn Hemisphere, of cycles to a panellist at a rece ‘There is a tid con ference. e men, which, tak in the affairs of leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi ll be more cris tune”, wrote Wi l- future, an d the Asian Sponsored by

Use your smartphone’s QR Code scanner or enter the short code to go directly to AustCham’s website.

...

The Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce (AustChamThailand) 20th Floor, Thai CC Tower, 889 South Sathorn Road, Yannawa, Bangkok 10120 Tel: +66 (0)2 210 0216-8 Fax: +66 (0)2 675 6696 Website: www.austchamthailand.com Email: admin@austchamthailand.com

AustCham AGM and Board of Directors for 2013/14 AustCham held its AGM at the Grand Hyatt on Wednesday 6 March. Top of the agenda was the election of a new Board of Directors for the 2013/14 membership year – following which a new Chamber President, Leigh Scott-Kemmis, was appointed. Outgoing Chamber President, John Anderson, led the meeting and reviewed the previous year’s achievements. He highlighted the importance of the landmark 60th anniversary of ThaiAustralian diplomatic bilateral relations. He pointed to AustCham’s Study of Australian Business in Thailand as the first of its kind in Thailand, and possibly anywhere in Asia. Completed in close cooperation with the Australian Economic Consultancy AEC Group, the study was released to coincide with the Thai Prime Minister’s visit to Australia last year.

http://goo.gl/N47Gg

line-up of some 17 speakers, including top business leaders such as ANZ Bank’s CEO for Asia and the Pacific and the CEO of PTT EP. Having served the maximum period of six years on the AustCham Board, John Anderson was ineligible to again stand for election. He wished the new board well and promised to stay closely engaged. A strong and friendly presence in the Chamber for many years, John’s leadership will be missed. We look forward to seeing him at events in the more relaxed role of guest. Ending the AGM with a highly optimistic outlook for the year ahead, AustCham introduced its new catch phrase…. Business. Connections. Community. Thanks to the team at Capital TV, a new introductory video was featured to showcase the Chamber and its activities. To view the video please visit our website.

Mr Anderson also pointed to the Australia-Thailand Business Conference as capping off a big year for AustCham in 2012. Under the theme “Australia We would like to thank all those who served on the 2012/13 Board, and are and Thailand in an Integrated Asia”, the conference presented a top-quality proud to announce the new Board of Directors for 2013/14. President Leigh Scott-Kemmis DBM (Thailand) Ltd. Vice President Jason Ellis BlueScope Steel (Thailand) Limited Vice President M.L. Laksasubha Kridakon Baan Laksasubha Resort Hua Hin Vice President Belinda Skinner Top TalentAsia Treasurer Warwick Kneale Baker Tilly Thailand Limited Director Charles Wrightman Natural Ville & Lenötre Director David Bell Crestcom Ra-Kahng Associates Ltd.

Director Alan Polivnick Watson, Farley & Williams (Thailand) Limited Director Pratamaporn Svasti-Xuto Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Banking Group Ltd.

To re enter the sto

Director Brenton Mauriello dwp

Director Rananda Rich Blackmores Ltd.

Director Josh Hyland AEC South East Asia Co., Ltd

Ex-Officio Greg Wallis Senior Trade Commissioner Australian Trade Commission


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18

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

B www.BBBrief.com riefs

Mid-April/Mid-May 2013

The Chambers

General Inte

rest

To re enter the sto

liam Shakespe are Nature and life ar seasons of the yea the phases of the r http://goo.gl/o Caught up in da m zbNM ily ily forget that Asia stands to the b has cycles, too. We gain from W with the econo mi slowdown est of expansion, con c tra cov ery. However, The shift of eco o no mentum to the mic growth mo- phenomena affect... up numerous East has opened Full story at http://go op Asian countries portunities that out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia b economist. off, not immu The robust eco fr om global c nomic growth China and em of erging economi will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : Th w opportunity sis in the late 1990 for Asian economi s wa es wealth from tra to increase their call for the region that de in goods an out to be services at a tim a blessing i d e States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as t e financial sec Full story at htt are... p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now tain a cer of shocks from the ta Grow with th fallo e fl ow We ste rn Hemisphere, of cycles to a panellist at a rece ‘There is a tid con ference. e men, which, tak in the affairs of leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi ll be more cris tune”, wrote Wi l- future, an d the Asian Sponsored by

Use your smartphone’s QR Code scanner or enter the short code to go directly to a Chamber’s website.

...

Belgian-Luxembourg/ Thai CC (BeLuThai) 15 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road Lumpini, Pathumwan Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 (0)2 309 5250 Website: www.beluthai.org Email: info@beluthai.org

Japanese CC (JCC) 3601 36th Floor, Q Houses Lumpini Bldg., South Sathorn Rd., Tungmahamek, Sathorn Bangkok 10120 Tel: +66 (0)2 677 7393 Fax: +66 (0)2 677 7394 Website: www.mtcc.or.th Email: admin@mtcc.or.th

Thai-Canadian CC (TCCC) 139 Pan Road, Sethiwan Tower, 9th Floor, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel: +66 (0)2 266 6085/6 Fax: +66 (0)2 266 6087 Website: www.tccc.or.th Email: tccc@loxinfo.co.th

Thai-Norwegian CC (TNCC) 888/142 Ploenchit Rd, 14th Fl., Mahatun Plaza, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 (0)2 650 8444 Fax: +66 (0)2 627 3042 Website: www.norcham.com Email: contact@norcham.com

Danish-Thai CC (Dancham) 34 C.P. Tower 3, 9th Floor Tower A, Phayathai Road, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400 Tel: +66 (0)2 354 5220 Fax: +66 (0)2 354 5221 Website: www.dancham.or.th Email: contact@dancham.or.th

Korean-Thai CC (KTCC) 6th Fl. Rajapark Bldg, 163 Asoke Sukhumvit 21 Rd, Klong Toey Nua, Wattana Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0)2 204 2503 Fax: +66 (0)2 204 2504 Website: www.korchamthai.com Email: ktcc@korchamthai.com

Thai-Chinese CC (Thai-CC) Thai C. C. Tower 9th Fl., 889 South Sathorn Rd., Sathorn Bangkok 10120 Tel: +66 (0)2 675 8577-84 Fax: +66 (0)2 212 3916-7 Website: www.thaicc.org Email: info@thaicc.org

Thai-Pakistan CC (TPCC) Thai Samut Asset Co., Ltd., Unit J, 16th Floor, 163 Suriwongse Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel: +66 (0)2 634 0147-8 Fax: +66 (0)2 634 0149 Website: http://goo.gl/Z1VOd Contact: http://goo.gl/OKPmC

Franco-Thai CC (FTCC) 5th Floor, Indosuez House, 152 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 (0)2 650 9613-4 Fax: +66 (0)2 650 9739 Website: www.francothaicc.com Email: contact@francothaicc.com

Netherlands-Thai CC (NTCC) 15 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 (0)2 309 5250 Website: www.ntccthailand.org Email: info@ntccthailand.org

Thai-Finnish CC (TFCC) C/O Netpoint SEA Ltd. 2nd Floor Wandee Siam Bldg, 58/84 Muangthong Thani, Chaengwattana, Klongklua, Nonthaburi 11120 Tel: +66 (0)2 574 2879-80 Fax: +66 (0)2 574 2877 Website: www.thaifin.or.th Email: tfcc@thaifin.or.th

Thai-Russian CC (TRCC) 14th Floor Loxley Bldg, 102 Na Ranong Road, Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0)2 348 8873 Fax: +66 (0)2 240 3307 Website: www.trcc.or.th Email: admin@trcc.or.th

German-Thai CC (GTCC) 25th Fl., Empire Tower 3, 195 South Sathorn Road, Yannawa, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120 Tel: +66 (0)2 670 0600 Fax: +66 (0)2 670 0601 Website: www.gtcc.org Email: services@gtcc.org

New Zealand Thai CC (NZTCC) 9th Floor, ITF Tower, 140/26 Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel: +66 (0)2 634 3283 Fax: +66 (0)2 634 3004 Website: www.nztcc.org Email: director@nztcc.org

Thai-Hong Kong Trade Association (THTA) Empire Tower, 25th Floor, 195 South Sathorn Road, Yannawa, Bangkok 10120 Tel: +66 (0)2 343 9000 Fax: +66 (0)2 343 9029 Website: www.thta.or.th Email: thai-hongkong@thta.or.th

Thai-Swedish CC (TSCC) 34 C.P Tower 3, 9th Floor Tower A, Phyathai Rd, Ratchathewi Bangkok 10400 Tel: +66 (0)2 354 5229-31 Fax: +66 (0)2 354 5232 Website: www.swecham.com Email: contact@swecham.com

India-Thai CC (ITCC) No. 13, Sathorn Soi 1, Thungmahamek, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120 Tel: +66 (0)2 287 3001 Fax: +66 (0)2 679 7720 Website: www.itcc.or.th Email: info@itcc.or.th

Singapore-Thai CC (STCC) 193/8 Lake Rajada Office Complex, 1st Floor Rachadapisek Road, Klongtoey, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0)2 264 0680-4 Fax: +66 (0)2 264 0688 Website: http://goo.gl/WrTpX Contact: http://goo.gl/L727M

Thai-Israel CC (TICC) 14th Fl., Manorom Building, 3354/45 Rama 4 Rd., Klongton, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0)2 672 7020 Fax: +66 (0)2 672 7021 Website: www.thaisraelcc.com Email: ticc@thaisraelcc.com

Thai-Taiwan Business Association (TTBA) No. 30/207 Sukhumvit Soi 39, Sukhumvit Rd., Kiongtannua, Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0)2 662 7335-6, 662 7385 Fax: +66 (0)2 662 7382 Website: www.ttba.or.th Email: ttba@ttba.or.th

Irish Thai CC (ITCC) Maneeya Center Bldg, 7th Fl, 518/5 Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 (0)2 652 0848 Fax: +66 (0)2 652 0671 Website: www.irishthaicc.com Email: info@irishthaicc.com

South African-Thai CC (SATCC) 10/143 (1503A), 15th Fl, Trendy Bldg, Soi Sukhumvit 13, Klongtoey-Nua, Wattana Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0)2 168 7416-7 Fax: +66 (0)2 168 7418 Website: www.satcc.net Email: satcc@satcc.net

Thai-Italian CC (TICC) 1126/2 Vanit II Bldg, 16th Fl, 1601B New Petchburi Rd., Makkasan, Rajdhevee, Bangkok 10400 Tel: +66 (0)2 255 8695 Fax: +66 (0)2 253 9896 Website: www.thaitch.org Email: info@thaitch.org

Joint Foreign CC of Thailand (JFCCT) 38th Floor, State Tower 1055/914 Silom Rd, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel: +66 (0)2 630 6307 Fax: +66 (0)2 630 6303 Website: www.jfcct.org Email: secretary@jfcct.org

Japanese CC (JCC) 15th floor Amarin Tower, 500 Ploenchit Road, Kwang Lumpini, Khet Patumwan Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 (0)2 256 9170-3 Fax: +66 (0)2 652 0931 Website: www.jcc.or.th Email: info@jcc.or.th

Swiss Thai CC (STCC) Bangkok Business Centre Building, 18th Floor, Unit 1802 #29, Sukhumvit 63 Road, Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0)2 714-4177 Fax: +66 (0)2 714-4179 Website: www.swissthai.com Email: info@swissthai.com

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Baht bubble? Story continued from Page 1.

Fitch, the international ratings firm, has recently upgraded Thailand to “BBB+/Stable” status. As a result, capital is flowing into the country at an astonishing rate. In January 2013 alone, the Bangkok Post reported that 25 billion baht flew into Thailand, an increase of 68.58% compared to the same period last year. Many see these large capital inflows as the main reason for the appreciation of the baht.

“In August of last year, the Bank of Thailand stopped its long-standing policy of buying dollars. For the last six months, the BoT has had a policy of ‘reverse sterilization’, and is responsible for the appreciation of the baht.”

But at the same time, according to Dr. Kirida Bhaopichtr, senior economist at the World Bank, capital outflows are actually exceeding inflows, as Thai companies are flexing their economic muscles abroad. Speaking at an MBMG Thailand lunch at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club (FCCT) on March 20th, Dr. Bhaopichtr said that capital outflows have outpaced inflows since 2011, and it has only been the recent surge of the baht that has seen inflows spike. In other words, Dr. Bhaopichtr asserts that it is the strong baht that is attracting greater capital inflows.

In 1997, the Thai baht was at an all-time high against the US dollar and the property market was booming. Then the bottom fell out of the Thai market, triggering the Asian Financial Crisis. Fast-forward 16 years, and on the surface, many of the same conditions seem to exist. The baht has appreciated to its highest level since 1997, the property market is strong, as both domestic and foreign investors get into the Thai property sector and the Thai stock market.

What are the effects?

While the recovery of the world economy has been slow, Thailand has seen large capital inflows, rapid credit growth, and low interest So far, government ministers have refused to intervene to rein in rates. These conditions are a recipe for potential asset bubbles, and the baht, as there seems to be a view in some quarters that this is a the concern is that, like 1997, the bubble will soon burst. natural valuation. The large capital inflows are also seen, by some, as a positive because most are in the form of long-term bonds. So far, according to Dr. Bhaopichtr, there are no bubbles at the moment, with the exception of some ‘pockets of bubbles’ in small stocks. Paul Gambles, Managing Partner at MBMG International, pointed out recently that the Bank of Thailand (BoT) has been resistant to However, export manufacturers in Thailand are concerned because easing interest rates and intervening in the baht issue and that there the appreciation of the baht is hurting exports. The automotive inis a ‘turf war’ going on between the Bank of Thailand and the Min- dustry is concerned, after celebrating an important milestone in istry of Finance. the history of the industry: In November 2012, Thailand reached the 2 million unit mark for vehicles produced in a year, putting the Kingdom in the top-ten automobile manufacturing countries in the world. The automotive industry in Thailand is booming and expects to reach production of 3 million units in the next few years. The Thai automotive industry now accounts for 12% of GDP, and represents the third largest export sector. Exports of vehicles and auto parts from Thailand total approximately US$25 billion annually, with the majority (55%) being auto parts, according to numbers quoted in a recent Thailand Investment Review article.

Bangkok Business Brief www.BBBrief.com

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Tel. 02 712 4052

Publisher and Managing Director (Thai Sales) Pavinee Chaymanee • 084-147-5550 thailandmagazine@gmail.com

Managing Director & Creative Director Reid Nixon • 080-246-9000 reid@bbbrief.com

Automotive industry executives, and other export manufacturers, are monitoring the appreciation of the baht closely. Toyota Motor Thailand President Kyoichi Tanada was recently quoted in The Nation that Toyota would be affected if the baht rose above 29 to the US dollar. Toyota is the largest manufacturer in Thailand with a production capacity of 800,000 units. Is this all a sign of Thailand’s economic strength and resilience in the face of the Eurozone crisis and slow economic recovery and political gridlock in the United States? Or is the appreciation of the baht, and the surge in stocks and property prices, warning signs that Thailand is heading toward another financial crisis? Time will tell.

Business Development Manager (English sales) Andy Hyde • 080-814-9080 andy@bbbrief.com

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Volume 2, Issue 5 • Mid-April to Mid-May 2013 Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

Read today’s business news briefs about Bangkok, Thailand, and Asean every weekday at www.BBBrief.com


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Mid-April/Mid-May 2013

The Calendar

For event details, enter the short code below the event into your browser:

7

8

Apr.

Sunday

Bangkok Trader Networking Party http://goo.gl/6ngBg

goo.gl/6ngBg

Tuesday

Monday

9 AMCHAM: Myanmar Task Force http://goo.gl/LBhvy

14

15

16

21

22

23

Bangkok Entrepreneurs http://goo.gl/JihG3

May

28

5

29

AMCHAM: Customs & Excise Cmte – Briefing with USTR http://goo.gl/QLDSG AMCHAM: Invest in the Philippines Seminar http://goo.gl/V2Oj9

AMCHAM: Business Economics Cmte http://goo.gl/RZcOq

30

AMCHAM: Indep. Day Picnic Cmte http://goo.gl/bXnhQ AMCHAM: Food & Agri-Business Cmte http://goo.gl/cR6w7 Bangkok Trader Networking Night http://goo.gl/EnNbR

6

7 AMCHAM: Board of Governors Mtg http://goo.gl/vg92y AMCHAM: BOT Directors Meeting http://goo.gl/zptzw

12

13

14

AMCHAM: Human Resources Cmte http://goo.gl/UNs1e AMCHAM: Marketing Cmte http://goo.gl/8sJeJ PPI Professional Hour http://goo.gl/EbSqX


www.BBBrief.com

Mid-April/Mid-May 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

23

Send us your event details for the Mid-May/Mid-June issue by May 7th to reid@bbbrief.com Wednesday

Thursday

10 AMCHAM: SME Cmte – Succession Planning for SMEs http://goo.gl/nr9kA

Friday

Saturday

11

12

13

18

19

20

25

26

27

3

4

10

11

17

18

Joint Chambers: Songkran Networking Event http://goo.gl/Im1As

17

24

AustCham: ANZAC Day and Visit to Wat Phu Takian Kindergarten http://goo.gl/zOBX7 AMCHAM: Forum on IP, Creativity, Innovation & Collaboration http://goo.gl/rk7fQ

AustCham: ANZAC Day and Visit to Wat Phu Takian Kindergarten http://goo.gl/zOBX7 AMCHAM: ICT Cmte http://goo.gl/g9cDH AMCHAM: CSR Cmte http://goo.gl/1DPCC

1

Movers & Shakers http://goo.gl/xOfWr

2 AMCHAM: YPC Networking http://goo.gl/cSX7C

8

AMCHAM: Food & Agri-Business Cmte http://goo.gl/bBrzd AMCHAM: SME Cmte http://goo.gl/74yVX AustCham: Sundowners http://goo.gl/Cce3O

15

AMCHAM: Energy Cmte – Thailand GHG Emission Roadmap by TGO http://goo.gl/YnQVP AMCHAM: Social Networking http://goo.gl/QHIxr

9 AMCHAM: Transportation & Logistic Cmte http://goo.gl/4D8Ky

16 AMCHAM: Customs & Excise Cmte http://goo.gl/Fo8gO AMCHAM: Tax Cmte – Managing Thai Tax Audits http://goo.gl/k1Q1L

AMCHAM: BYU Briefing http://goo.gl/kAX7t Joint Chambers: Eastern Seaboard Networking Event http://goo.gl/IQlnt

AMCHAM: Memorial Day Charitee Golf Tournament 2013 http://goo.gl/LwjPa

AustCham: Voluntary English Teaching http://goo.gl/LcN2D



Bangkok Business Brief - Volume 2, Issue 5 - Mid-April/May 2013