BTS lays tracks for infrastructure IPO — BTS wants to bid for three mass transit rail projects worth a combined Bt100bn, of which Bt30bn will be allocated from the imminent launch of its infrastructure fund, from which it expects to raise more than Bt60bn. Chairman Keeree Kanjanapas said the BTS, the first company to raise funds through an infrastructure fund, plans to bid for the Green Line extensions from Mor Chit to Saphan Mai and from Bearing to Samut Prakan. The Pink Line from Khae Rai to Min Buri is expected to call for bids no later than next year, while an 18km light rail project from Bang Na to Suvarnabhumi airport is in the pipeline. (Bangkok Post, 20/03/13)
Comment: Stock run up hasn’t been surprising, wouldn’t be surprised to see continued strength until the IPO of its infrastructure fund BTSGIF
KBANK bids to help support franchises — KBANK aims to double SME loans to franchisees to Bt1.2bn by the end of the year, thanks to strong growth of the segment of 15-20% per year. The bank forecasts franchise market value will reach Bt328bn this year, rising 82% from Bt180bn in 2011. (Bangkok Post, 20/03/13)
THAI to add London A380 route when next jets arrive — THAI said it plans to operate the Airbus SAS A380 superjumbo to London’s Heathrow airport following delivery of its fifth and sixth aircraft later this year. It said it cannot be more specific about the exact inauguration since the delivery dates of the planes are not certain. The A380 will substitute for one of two services provided by Boeing 747-400s that will return to the London route this month after a year’s gap for refurbishment. One reason for keeping the 747 is its cargo flexibility, general manager Wit Kitchathorn said. (Bangkok Post, 20/03/13)
TISCO targets 10% growth on healthy first quarter — TISCO projects 10% loan growth this year, backed by healthy operating results for the first quarter, CEO Chatri Changrangam said. He attributed the strong first quarter to robust expansion of loans in the first two months of the year, at 4% on average. (Bangkok Post, 20/03/13)
Comment: I still see its biggest risk sitting on its balance sheet with its loans to SSI.