BAY opens Laos venture — Krungsri Consumer, an unsecured loan lender under BAY, plans to commence its auto and personal loan joint venture in Laos in July. BAY’s two financial arms – Krungsri Consumer and Ahudhya Ca;pital Auto Lease (Krungsri Auto) – each own 35% of Krungsri Financial Service (Laos), with the balance held by a Laotian auto lender. The JV agreement is scheduled to be signed today and business operation will kick off from July 1, said Thakorn Piyapan, Krungsri Consumer’s MD. (Bangkok Post, 17/05/13)
Comment: Wouldn’t be surprised to see more Thai banks opening ventures through Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma.
Minor upbeat about China — MINT expects to see its first profit in eight years from its restaurant operation in China. Chaiyapat Paitoon, the VP for strategic planning, said Sizzler and the Riverside & Courtyard have performed well. Since acquiring 49% of Riverside at the end of last year, Minor’s restaurant business in China has turned around with a net loss of only 21mn yuan (Bt102mn) in 2012. Mr. Chaiyapat said the company sees good growth potential in China thanks to its huge population and growing economy. (Bangkok Post, 17/05/13)
Comment: China has been a drag on Mint’s operations for years as they have struggled to adapt to the local market there, but given Mint’s track record you wouldn’t want to bet against Heinecke.
RATCH targeting Australian plants — RATCH will bid to acquire two state coal-fired power plants in Australia as part of the local government’s privatization program. Kriengrit Jiajanpong, a senior executive VP, said the plants in New South Wales state have a combined capacity of 4,000MW. It is searching for strategic partners for the deal. Bidding results are expected in the second half of this year. (Bangkok Post, 17/05/13)
TSTH backs dumping safeguards — Tata Steel is upbeat about bouncing back to profitability in its fiscal 2014 started April 1. This confidence stems largely from government pledges to enforce anti-dumping duties on cheap imports as well as higher domestic consumption. (Bangkok Post, 17/05/13)
Comment: TSTH’s biggest issue is that massive investment it made with its blast furnance.
Dismal BDI widens TTA’s net loss woes — TTA says its reviewed net loss widened further to Bt257mn in the three months to march from Bt205mn YoY due mainly to depressed dry bulk shipping rates. The Baltic Dry Index, which tracks global freight rates, said they fell by 8% YoY and 16% QoQ during the period. (Bangkok Post, 17/05/13)
Comment: This company still can’t seem to get itself back into shape. I still think it has great assets but there just is no reason for a turnaround yet.