The fading yellow

Great op-ed last week by Voranai Vanijaka in the Bangkok Post talking about the fading power that is known as the yellow shirts or PAD. Close friends know the vitriol I’ll use when talking about this group given how they impacted my family, friends and myself.

When the Criminal Court on Feb 28 this year sentenced Sondhi to 20 years in jail without parole for violating the Securities and Exchange Act, the only yellow in the streets were the lights that tells drivers to speed up, floor the gas pedal.

When army tanks rolled into the capital in September 2006, the yellows greeted the soldiers with cheers and flowers. Last week when they wanted to use the grounds of the Army Club for a political rally, they were told to ”go somewhere else”.

That refusal signified one of the last few remaining breaths of an organisation that once moved a Kingdom, but now can’t even move more than a few hundred people onto the streets.

How has it come to this?

Source: Bangkok Post

Mint ready wherever opportunity arises

Minor International Plc (MINT), founded in 1978, is one of the largest hospitality and leisure companies in the Asia-Pacific region. With more than 70 hotels and resorts, 1,200 restaurants and 200 retail trading outlets, MINT meets the growing needs of consumers in Thailand and in 21 markets from Africa to Australia. William E. Heinecke, chairman and CEO, discusses the company’s strategy and outlook.What is MINT’s business model?

Heinecke: ‘‘Our executives have to be able to grow, recruit and keep great talent.’’

MINT is a global leisure company focusing on food and hospitality. Within Thailand we have a long history in both businesses dating back to the early 1970s where we were early pioneers in the hospitality business, starting in Pattaya and moving in Bangkok.

Continue reading Mint ready wherever opportunity arises

California WOW – Have they just figured out it’s a scam?

I’m actually a member of this fitness chain, why? Because it’s incredibly cheap and I know value where I see it!! But my membership cost me THB 10k up front and after 3 years an annual payment of THB 3,000 (this was negotiated back in 2009) we knew that this company wouldn’t be able to continue its existence for a long time. To the company’s credit they have brought about a fitness boom in Thailand and allowed individuals who previously were unable to afford memberships at hotel gym’s the opportunity to exercise in a proper gym but when a business is based on selling as many memberships upfront as possible and then still has to maintain operating expenses in rent, staffing, and leases, this is no surprise. Now why is it a scam? A quick google search of other california fitness chains around the region (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia) will show you exactly what I’m referring to, in each of these countries the California Fitness gyms went bankrupt. So if you’re a thinking of becoming a member in the new countries where they are operating (Vietnam and China) don’t fall for the lifetime membership option, take the cheap annual fee and realise that one day the gym may not continue. Oh and btw check out Eric Levine’s, the founder of CaliWow, “little house” in Phuket http://homesoftherich.net/2010/04/eric-levines-65000-square-foot-supersized-thailand-beach-house.html

Sucks, now I may have to look for another gym.

There have been consumer complaints about the company, which sells lifetime memberships but regularly closes facilities. Members have also complained about below standard services and breach of contract details, according to the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB).

Source: Bangkok Post

Management Trades – Weekly

Notable Transactions:

Buys:

  • BGH again, from my understanding after talking with various market participants, K. Prasert wants to accumulate shares to ensure that he can still maintain shareholder control over the future of BGH
Sells:
  • TUF – the Chairman decides to a substantial amount of shares in the market
  • PPC – Quite odd for directors of a THB 1.5 bn company to sell THB 300 mn of shares

 

Charts – Weekly

Ploy back with her latest thoughts, she pointed out something interesting that there has been little movement in the USD Index, oil prices, gold etc..

After last week’s rally, we thought everything was back on track. But, as it turned out yesterday, it is too early to celebrate the comeback of bullish market.

Beside the quarterly resistance at which the SET is stalling, the index also face another weekly resistance at 1,214-1,224. The SET has tested this same resistance for 4 times in the past and couldn’t make a successful breakout. A tumble from this resistance usually pulls the index down to its 20-day moving average line (pointed with red arrows). It can be seen from the chart that, if the SET can’t make a strong rebound and a successful breakout above 1,214-1,224, it is likely to fall back, with downside as low as 1,100. That is the medium-term risk that we should be aware of.

 

Continue reading Charts – Weekly

Thai State Pension Fund to Acquire U.S., Europe Properties

Its not often we get to read about Thailand in a non-negative way on Bloomberg. The Thai Government Pension Fund has decided to begin investing in assets in both the US and Europe. Just further evidence that Thailand no longer only looks inward.

“The stagnate economic environment in the U.S. and Europe offers a great opportunity for property investments because of attractive prices,” Sopawadee said. “Global property investment is our strategy to become more aggressive and dynamic in boosting returns for our pensioners.”

Source: Bloomberg

BCA recommends to underweight Thailand

BCA had a recent comment on Thailand with the key points being:

1. No rationale for monetary easing in Thailand given inflationary pressures

2. Growth set to recover post-floods and substantial fiscal stimulus will ensure growth remains strong

3. Thai equity market is a Micro play not Macro and they recommend to underweight the market

See below the break for the report

Continue reading BCA recommends to underweight Thailand