What happened this past week 22/04 – 26/04

Europe: Germany raises growth forecast — The German economy is expected to grow by 0.5% this year, up from the previous estimate of 0.4%, the German Economics Ministry announced on Thursday. German GDP is still expected to grow 1.6% in 2014, unchanged from previous growth prediction.
(Xinhua, 25/04/13)

US: In the week ending April 20, the number of Americans initially applying for unemployment benefits dropped 16,000 to 339,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Meanwhile, the four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, decreased 4,500 from the previous week’s revised figure to 357,500, it added.
(Xinhua, 26/04/13)

US: U.S. new home sales up 1.5% in March — Sales of new single-family houses in the United States rose in March from the prior month, evidence of sustained recovery of the housing market, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Sales of new single-family houses in March increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000 units, a gain of 1.5 percent from the revised February level of 411,000. Meanwhile, the median sales price of new houses sold in March was 247,000 U.S. dollars, lower than the figure registered in February but higher than the year-ago level. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of March was 153,000 units, which represented a supply of 4.4 months at the current sales rate.
(Xinhua, 23/04/13) Continue reading What happened this past week 22/04 – 26/04

Stocks in the news (Makro, Thai) 26.04.13


SET to probe Siam Makro trades —The SET will investigate trading that preceded the announcement of the country’s largest takeover bid, the purchase of discount wholesaler Siam Makro Plc (MAKRO) by 7-Eleven chain operator CP All Plc (CPALL). Siam Makro’s shares rose 30% in the six trading sessions before CP All’s US$6.6bn bid was announced. The stock jumped 15% on April 17, while the volume of shares traded rose to 1.6mn, almost four times the six-month average. CP All, backed by Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, offered to buy Siam Makro for 787 baht a share on April 23. (Bangkok Post website, 25/04/13)


Thai Smile plan hits air pocket — A plan to set up Thai Smile Airways Co as a subsidiary of Thai Airways International has been sent back to the national carrier by the Transport Ministry for further study. Deputy Transport Minister Prin Suwanatat said after a meeting with THAI executives on Thursday that THAI was ordered to give more details of the plan and resubmit it to a meeting next week. The ministry’s main concern was its affect on the revenue of THAI as Thai Smile plans to launch or take over some domestic and regional destinations from its parent. (Bangkok Post website, 25/04/13)

Stocks in the news (bgh, cpall, dtac, sithai, trc) 24.04.13


BGH plans hospital in Chinatown — Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Plc (BGH), Thailand’s largest hospital group, is to invest 700-750 million baht to set up a new hospital in Bangkok’s Chinatown aiming to tap into affluent ethnic Chinese and Indian residents. The investment includes 30-year rental and renovation costs for two old buildings, one with six floors and another with eight, at Yaowarat Soi 5 owned by tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi. Bangkok Hospital Chinatown will have 59 beds and will launch early next year. BGH recently signed a lease with Golden Wealth, an arm of TCC Land, for the hospital in vibrant Chinatown. A company source said BGH envisaged a promising business outlook given the relatively high purchasing power of Chinatown’s residents. (Bangkok Post, 24/04/13)

Comment: Small impact on its overall earnings, but I still think we will be hearing REIT stories out of this company within the next 6-12 months.


CPAll pays B189bn for MAKRO, paves way for entry into ASEAN markets — CPAll, the local operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores in Thailand, is extending its market dominance in the Bt2.2tn retail market with the acquisition of Siam Makro Plc’s cash-and-carry chain for Bt188.88bn. Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) won Bank of Thailand approval to widen the single lending limit ratio for CP Group from 25% of SCB’s capital base to 60% to accommodate CP All’s acquisition of Siam Makro. (Bangkok Post, 24/04/13)

Comment: We were half worried about potential equity raising done by CP Group, however if you look at how the family does business, they almost never raise equity, they love debt financing.


DTAC introduces 3G Trinet brand — Total Access Communication (DTAC), the country’s second-ranked mobile operator, has unveiled its Trinet brand for its licensing-based third-generation (3G) mobile service, with commercial launch scheduled for May 9. The launch date of the Norwegian operator will come only one day after its bigger rivals Advanced Info Service (AIS) officially introduces its own 3G service on the 2100-megahertz spectrum. Pakorn Pannachet, a senior vicepresident of DTAC, pointed out the word Trinet comes from the company’s three cellular spectra 1800,850 and 2100 MHz. The 1800-MHz spectrum will serve 2G voice service and data communications on the Edge network system, while 2100 MHz will accommodate heavy high-speed data use indoors in major cities and other high-density areas, said Mr. Pakorn. He said the 850-MHz spectrum will cater to heavy data use upcountry. (Bangkok Post, 24/04/13) Continue reading Stocks in the news (bgh, cpall, dtac, sithai, trc) 24.04.13

Stocks in the news (bbl, Makro, Thai) 23.04.13


BBL gets into auto lending with specific loans for first car buyers — Even though Bangkok Bank is not ready to enter the hire-purchase (lease-to-own) business, it has developed a product called Bualuang Poonphol for First Car to help it become more familiar with the car-loan market. “We are learning about the auto-loan market in terms of secured loans, while other retail loans have been extended as well. Even though our share in the retail segment is modest, the annual return continues to increase,” executive chairman Kosit Panpiamras said yesterday. The product launched three months ago is part of specific-purpose loans, not hire-purchase loans, because the conditions are different. The bank has no plan to do hire-purchasing because it wants to study the market carefully, but it sees the need to test the market in preparation for a new cycle of car-loan demand. (www.nationmultimedia.com)

Comment: this is THE most conservatively run bank in thailand, but this news must be a negative for the smaller financial institutions (ie kk, thanachart) who don’t have the asset base the size of BBL


MAKRO price jumps on speculation on takeover by CPALL —Share prices of Siam Makro, the listed operator of Makro cash-and-carry wholesale centres, have jumped 53 per cent since the beginning of the year on takeover speculation. And the speculation looks more real, having CP All at the centre of the scene. Siam Makro yesterday asked the Stock Exchange of Thailand to suspend trading of its shares until today because of the rumour of a takeover bid by CP All, a retail arm of Charoen Pokphand Group. The request was made after the Siam Makro share price surged dramatically last week. The company expected to provide material information that might effect the share price and/or the decisions of shareholders and general investors. (www.nationmultimedia.com)

Comment: SEC if you want to catch inside information traders just have a look at who bough MAKRO shares in the past 3 weeks, it’s not that difficult to figure out that the news has been out around for a while. Now the deal itself is ambitious, but to us is similar in grandeur as to when bigc bought Carrefour


Negotiations end suit — Some time ago, the New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) filed a lawsuit against THAI alleging that THAI and 13 other airlines violated the 1986 Commerce Act. THAI entered into settlement negotiations with the NZCC, and on 22 April 2013, the court permitted THAI to pay a penalty plus the NZCC’s legal cost at NZD2.96mn. (SET)


Stocks in the news (bts, Thai, trc) 22.04.13

Interim DPS at Bt0.18 from 3QFY13 earnings — After an initial DPS of Bt0.163/share on earnings in Apr-Sep 12 (1HQFY13), BTS announced a second interim DPS of Bt0.18 (XD on May 2), based on earnings in Oct-Dec 12 (3QFY13).

Comment. Only an interim dividend, analysts have been saying that a special divvy may be up to thb 1.2/share


THAI says cabin factor in March reached 80.3% —THAI has announced that its cabin factor in March 2013 grew to 80.3% from 78.4% in March 2012, bringing 1Q13 cabin factor to 79.8%, up from 78% in 1Q12 and 76% in 4Q12. (Thaionline, 19/04/13, IQ Biz, 19/04/13)

Thai Smile spin-off planned — Thai Airways International will soon ask for the Cabinet’s approval for the spin-off of Thai Smile. THAI President Sorajak Kasemsuvan said that Thai Smile Airway will be set up, to take over the operations of Thai Smile which is now a business unit. He said that details have been submitted to the Transport Ministry and these should be forwarded for the Cabinet’s approval within May. He added that as a wholly-owned subsidiary, Thai Smile Airway should show clearer balance sheets. A source at the company said that the plan would entail an investment of Bt1.bn. In 2014, the airline, of which fares would be 15-20% lower than THAI’s, would operate flights to Chiang Rai, Khon Kaen, Samui, Columbo, and etc, where THAI are now operating. More flights are planned for other Asian routes. (www.nationmultimedia.com)


The SET moved TRC from mai to the main board, to the Property Development sector and the Property & Construction Group, where it will continue to trade under the ticker “TRC” from 23 April 2013 onward. (Source: SET)

Stocks in the news (bts, true) 19.04.13


First trading day for BTSGIF— The infrastructure fund begins trading today, April 19.

Comment: well this was the easiest trade this year, I don’t expect that much more upside in the stock, unless they come out with a massive dividend.


TrueVisions screens turn blank Friday morning — TrueVisions screens will turn blank on April 19, from midnight to 8am, for a new channel lineup, according to a commissioner of the National Broadcasting Telecommunications Commission. Supinya Klangnarong said in her tweets that the cable TV operator asked for the temporary service halt on the day. She said that TrueVisions is expected to inform clients on this. Displeased clients can call Hotline 1200, she said. “Personally, I’m surprised with this. This was included in the meeting agenda on April 17, but TrueVisions’ request was dated March 18. The board approved this on April 17 and the blank screen is scheduled for April 19.” (The Nation website, 18/04/13)

Comment: I still don’t understand why banks still loan this company money, it doesn’t make enough money to repay anything but interest back

Stocks in the news (ktb) 18.04.13

KTB changes tack to focus on fees — State-owned Krungthai Bank (KTB) is focusing more on high-yielding retail banking and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) loans in order to boost non-interest income, underscoring the fierce competition in these segments among big banks. Thailand’s second-largest lender by assets targets retail and SME loans of 60% of outstanding credit in three years, up from 50% currently, with corporate and government loans dipping to 40%from 50%. The bank also plans to increase non-interest income to 30% of revenue in three years from 20% last year, said president Vorapak Tanyawong during an exclusive interview with Bangkok Post and Post Today. (Bangkok Post, 18/04/13)