- The last 3 weeks have been rather busy with traveling for both personal and work related activities, and yet really nothing happened much in the world, central banks were quiet, perhaps there was some temporary noise out of doha re oil prices but things have been relatively calm so to speak. First quarter numbers have started approaching, with Thai banks showing rather iffy #’s, the smaller ones i.e. tisco and kkp surprised to the upside with lower than expected provisions, but when I hear “Oh yes our NPLs are increasing but it’s ok we have provisioned against it” doesn’t quite inspire the confidence in me that I suppose it’s meant to, anyways to some random thoughts
- Europe – Flying to brussels was the aim at the end of March but because of the bombing, the flight had to be re-directed to frankfurt and to depart from Paris instead. The mood throughout the country was one of, well, despondence may be the best way to describe. Interestingly the majority of people seemed to be more upset with the Government. If you look at it from their viewpoint taxes are incredibly high, economic growth is tepid at best, the government is finding more ways to tax the citizens and then more immigrants that aren’t able to assimilate are given handouts by the government. Not quite the recipe for a happy populous.
- ASEAN – During songkran, my analysts and I flew to Malaysia and Singapore to attend broker conferences to meet multiple firms from throughout the region. Dr. Surin – finally got to meet the man and have a quick discussion 1 on 1, its a shame he can’t drive things in Thailand. Malaysia’s SWF Khazanah Nasional impressed me tremendously at a breakfast meeting, despite the country being home to what I suspect is the dirtiest politics in SE Asia, these guys know what they’re doing and I think they invest quite well. Firm’s in KL? Well if you thought that Thailand had a lot of property companies then you haven’t been to KL, household debt to gdp is far worse than Thailand and yet when you drive from KL center to the airport you see nothing but new condominiums being built. Are there good companies in M’asia? Absolutely I still take the viewpoint that it doesn’t matter where you are in the world you can always find a great idea, names that impressed me (doesn’t mean one should buy) include Time dotcom – I believe the largest ASEAN sub-marine cable co, Karex – the world’s largest oem condom manufacturer, and Inari Amerton – a semi conductor manufacturing co where 50% of it’s business comes from iphones. What about the other countries? Well again there’s a lot, perhaps the 2 name’s I had the most fun learning about was Naga City (hk listed) which runs the largest casino in Cambodia and Double Dragon – a retail/property company in the Philippines that proves retail investors are still incredibly dominant over there. As a quick aside – I love markets where retail investors are the dominant market participants it allows for stocks to reach their fair values (and more!) far faster and it also drives prices down far further than fair value – this volatility provides the best recipe for making a return. Institution dominated markets are boring.
- Panama Papers & Nepotism- I don’t see anything wrong with people or companies having an offshore company, of course when a politician has one and did NOT declare as required by their tax jurisdiction well then its a different story altogether. What drew my attention recently was this article in the Bangkok Post where this paragraph “One example could be the 600-million-baht land sale by Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, who was then army chief, in 2013, disclosed under his asset declaration when he took office as prime minister, after the May 2014 coup. The transaction was connected to an offshore company in the BVI, linked to Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, the patriarch of the Thai Beverage business group and Thailand’s second richest man, according to Forbes’ 2015 list. In many other circumstances, this story would have scrutinised for unscrupulous gains and juicy details that may have violated the law. But this story has faded into oblivion for the time being. “ caught my eye. I do wonder if the author will be invited for a attitude adjustment (btw military people if you’re reading this, I love you, don’t arrest me). And then there were more articles in the local papers about nepotism (Bangkok Post). I’m not sure why people are surprised, this is rather normal in virtually any society, should it be? Well that’s a discussion for another time.
- Taxes – The government has decided to lower the tax for the majority of people, then again how many people in Thailand actually pay tax? They state there are some 10 mn tax payers, the last time i saw statistics I clearly remembered that only ~2 mn filed their taxes and ~1 mn actually had salaries high enough to pay. Anyways here are some figures. In theory who benefits? Consumer co’s, 7-11?
- Telco’s – Article 44 came out and spanked the NBTC into setting the next spectrum launch on the 27th May. So DTAC doesn’t look like they’ll participate (even though they could comfortably raise equity and join the party but telenor seems to be far more focused on Myanmar and India for now) AIS should take it unless TRUE decides to raise more capital and dominate the industry, also DTAC announced their earnings on Friday evening (SET) and they look awful but a clever man told me “look at their ARPU for post paid customers it’s the highest in the industry, how much would you pay to take those customers away from DTAC?” Perhaps THB 75 bn isn’t a too much to pay to take 50% of DTAC’s customer base.
- Larry Fink Chairman’s Letter to Shareholders (Blackrock) Most Chairman letters are rather good for falling asleep to, but at least here theres a decent section “Changes in the Investing Landscape” Not nearly enough attention has been paid to the toll these low rates — and now negative rates — are taking on the ability of investors to save and plan for the future. People need to invest more today to achieve their desired annual retirement income in the future. For example, a 35-year-old looking to generate $48,000 per year in retirement income beginning at age 65 would need to invest $178,000 today in a 5% interest rate environment. In a 2% interest rate environment, however, that individual would need to invest $563,000 (or 3.2 times as much) to achieve the same outcome in retirement.
- Now to show the other side to this argument would be the from the wonderful J. Stiglitz (Project Syndicate) where he writes ” Simply put, most firms – and especially SMEs – can’t borrow easily at the T-bill rate. They don’t borrow on capital markets. They borrow from banks. And there is a large difference (spread) between the interest rates the banks set and the T-bill rate. Moreover, banks ration. They may refuse to lend to some firms. In other cases, they demand collateral (often real estate).”
- This blog – Running a regional fund is taking up a lot of my time, thinking about other countries, currencies, industries and companies (which is incredibly fun), compared to before when all I dreamt about was Thailand hence the lower amount of posts on a daily basis. Thus for now it looks like I’ll just do a stocks in the news post and on Friday/Saturdays a long random thought post versus the past when I would just put some of these thoughts up when they popped in my head. Have a great Sunday.
ADVANC is budgeting Bt40bn to expand its 4G network. It targets to cover all 77 provinces with 14,000 base stations in two months. It is confident it can secure its customer base. It expects to complete the deal with TOT by 1Q16. (Thun Hoon, 27/01/16)
Comment: And all signs are still pointing up for ADVANC despite the fact that it’s stock price is still some 30% below its peak
ANAN expects 4Q15 to grow more than 500% from 3Q15’s Bt161mn on the back of transfers for two condominiums. It expects 2016 net profit to reach Bt1.6bn driven by numerous transfers. (Thun Hoon, 27/01/16)
Comment: No surprise here…and just watch their 2016 growth
CHO received orders for five catering trucks from customer in UAE, valued at Bt40mn. Delivery is to be in mid-2016. It expects to get 15 more orders, all of which will provide 10% revenue growth this year. (Khao Hoon, 27/01/16)
DCC expects 2015 net profit of Bt1.3bn with Bt7.1bn sales. Its board has approved a dividend payment of Bt0.05/share, XD on Feb 26. (Khao Hoon, 27/01/16)
KCM is talking to a Chinese partner about importing solar cells. It expects this to generate Bt50-100mn revenue. It plans to set up a steel rolling mill in Cambodia. It expects to list its subsidiary on the Cambodian stock exchange. It expects 2015 performance to be good despite the economic slowdown. (Thun Hoon, 27/01/16)
CENTEL plans to acquire an international food company. It expects the deal to be finalized by 4Q16. It targets 2016 revenue to grow 10% backed by growth in online business. (Thun Hoon, 20/01/16)
Comment: Well the EVP must be very happy because he has only talked about doing acquisitions for the past few years
DCORP is talking to a listed company to provide loans for those interested in investing in solar roof. It expects the deal to be clear in January. It plans to focus on alternative energy. It expects 2016 net profit to back to black and wipe out retained losses of Bt300mn. (Thun Hoon, 20/01/16)
GFPT expects 2016 revenue to grow5-10% as lower supply is expected to bring chicken prices back up above Bt40/kg. It expects gross margin of 10-12%. (Thun Hoon, 20/01/16)
Comment: I’ve always liked this company and perhaps it may be time for the earnings to recover if chicken prices recover
AMATA expects 4Q15 revenue to be healthy even though it cannot reach the target of selling 1000 rai of land this year. It has sold only 493 rai of land in 9 months. (Thun Hoon, 27/11/15)
Comment: It’s the usual cycle for industrial estates in Thailand.
AOT expects 4Q15 profit of at least Bt3.2bn (51% growth). It expects revenue for the whole of this year to be Bt17bn backed by peak season. (Thun Hoon, 27/11/15)
BMCL expects the cabinet to approve the M&A with BECL on December 8. (Khao Hoon, 27/11/15)
CHO expects to gain revenue from an 11-year project. Next year it will focus on maintenance services and expects to get a project worth Bt400mn. (Thun Hoon, 27/11/15)
Comment: If it is similar to their Tesco contract then its a steady cash flow generator for the firm
AUCT expects 3Q15 earnings of Bt58mn (+8%). 4Q15 net profit is expected to be good aided by seasonality. It expects this to raise 2015 net profit to Bt227mn (+12.5%). It has applied to join the 4G auction. (Khao Hoon, 10/11/15)
Comment: We think that the news is slightly incorrect for AUCT, more that AUCT would love to be the firm holding the auction on behalf of the government
EE expects 4Q15 earnings to turn around backed by orders from China from ethanol stimulus measures. It expects 2016 net profit to be good aided by 240MW power plants. It plans to wipe out retained loss of Bt684.36mn with dividend payout of 40% as is its policy. (Thun Hoon, 10/11/15)
GCAP is talking to a prospective partner to expand its business, lending on agricultural machines, which it expects to finalize soon. It targets 2015 loans for crepe rubber machines to reach Bt20mn from the addition of customers. It expects 3Q15 earnings to be good backed by increased demand for loans. It plans to expand to corporate loans in 2016. (Thun Hoon, 10/11/15)
Comment: A rather interesting little company, but has the decrease in agricultural prices killed its target market?
GOLD’s board has approved a capital increase of 685.7mn shares for PP to FPHT at Bt7.25/share, equal to Bt4.97bn. It plans to use the funds from the capital increase for new projects. It reported 3Q15 earnings of Bt133.52mn (+71%) with revenue of Bt2bn. It plans to pay an interim dividend of Bt0.05/share, XD on Nov 19, PD on Dec 3. (Thun Hoon, 10/11/15)
Comment: Ah well, people are still holding out for the REIT
Mid-east investor interested in BCH shares as it is a small-cap with strong fundamentals. It expects this deal to expand customers from the Middle East. (Thun Hoon, 04/09/15)
Comment: A mini BH in the making perhaps?
BDMS reports that G. Wasupol Co Ltd has transferred its business to BDMS. It plans to add more three hospitals. (Khao Hoon, 04/09/15)
Comment: Issue for BDMS is that growth is going to look smaller b/c of its scale
FSMART’s management accused of corruption by former shareholder. It expects this to be in the courts this month. (Khao Hoon, 04/09/15)
Comment: Then perhaps that shareholder should sue every past government in Thailand’s history as well.
KKP expects loans growth to drop because of the sluggish economy. It expects to have to make extra provisions. It targets 2015 NPLs of 6%. It does not plan to open new branches after closing 24 branches but expects to focus on service improvement. (Thun Hoon, 04/09/15)
ADVANC reported 2Q15 net profit of Bt9.8bn (16% growth) backed by higher service revenue and mobile phone sales. It will pay a dividend of Bt6.5/share, XD on Aug 11. It revised down 2015 target growth from 3-4% to 3%. (Khao Hoon, 04/08/15)
AJD is talking to prospective Chinese partner (Alibaba) to invest in logistics and Ecommerce in Thailand. It is considering an alternative for this JV such as capital increase via PP, or setting up a subsidiary. It expects conclusion by the end of this year. (Thun Hoon, 04/08/15)
Comment: I have my doubts that Alibaba would partner with AJD
ARROW expects 2Q15 earnings to be close to 1Q15’s Bt62.16mn. It is confident 2015 revenue will reach Bt1.2bn, backed by numerous orders. It has received BoI promotion for its product (tube for underground wire), which it plans to introduce in 3Q15. It targets revenue of Bt20mn from this product. (Thun Hoon, 04/08/15)
Comment: A wonderful grower in the past 2 years, the only question here is capacity constraint going to be an issue?
BDMS expects 2Q15 earnings of Bt1.5bn aided by local and international patients. 2H15 net profit is expected to be higher than Bt3.7bn. (Khao Hoon, 04/08/15)