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Acting InTouch CEO may expand group into payment services

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/Acting-InTouch-CEO-may-expand-group-into-payment-s-30276734.html

BUSINESS STRATEGY

InTouch Holdings will explore a new business opportunity in financial payment services, says Philip Chen Chong Tan, acting chief executive officer.

Tan, 50, born in Malaysia but fluent in Thai, become InTouch president last November 1 and also assumed the acting CEO position this month.

This followed the retirement of Somprasong Boonyachai as chief executive last month. He was appointed as adviser to the CEO and will work in that capacity throughout this year. Somprasong remains chairman of the executive committee of InTouch.

“The new business will be related to my expertise in finance and banking on payment services. I may submit the new business plan to the company’s executive committee this month and the plan will become clearer next month,” Tan said.

Before coming to InTouch, Tan was head of retail and consumer banking at Bank of Ayudhya. He said his new financial service would be related to InTouch’s four core businesses – telecommunications, information technology, media and digital content.

“This is the last job of my life, and I have no plan to move to another company, since I believe in InTouch’s business opportunities,” he said.

He added that InTouch was a strong holding company foreseeing sustainable growth in its four core businesses and what it calls the “nine breakthroughs”, or the businesses it has operated.

The nine breakthroughs are third-generation cellular, 4G, fixed and wireless broadband, satellite, cloud computing, digital content, venture capital and TV business.

He said he intended to build on these core policies, and under the guidance of the company’s board and Somprasong’s advice, utilise his knowledge, competencies and prior experience in technology, retail business and customer management to continue in this mission.

Somprasong said the failure of InTouch subsidiary Advanced Info Service to win a telecom licence on the 900-megahertz spectrum at the auction last month would not have an impact on the group’s business or revenue. Its decision to stop bidding at a certain level reflected that the company does not base its business decisions on emotion.

He added that what one |should closely watch was that 26 days had passed since the auction, and neither of the two winning |bidders had paid the first instalment of the upfront licence fee to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

Some telecom-industry experts have taken the view that the final buds for the two licences were too high and questioned whether the winners, True Corp and Jasmine International, could easily make a profit after paying so much.

The NBTC has given them 90 days from the auction date to pay the first instalment and provide a bank guarantee for the remaining three payments.

True won a licence with a final bid of Bt76.298 billion, while JAS bid Bt75.654 billion. The first instalment is Bt8.04 billion.

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PTT ‘can survive $20 oil for a while’

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/PTT-can-survive-$20-oil-for-a-while-30276727.html

PTT

Cars have waiting to filling the tank at the period of the oil price dropped 2.4 per cent to $30.68 a barrel yesterday, after tumbling to a 12-year low on Monday.

Cars have waiting to filling the tank at the period of the oil price dropped 2.4 per cent to $30.68 a barrel yesterday, after tumbling to a 12-year low on Monday.

PTT says it can survive an oil prices as low as US$20 a barrel.

The oil price dropped 2.4 per cent to $30.68 a barrel yesterday, after tumbling to a 12-year low on Monday.

More analysts, including investment bank Morgan Stanley, are now pointing out the possibility of the price plummeting to $20.

Tevin Vongvanich, president and chief executive officer of the national oil company, said yesterday that PTT had conducted a stress test and found it could survive at $30 a barrel.

He believes the energy conglomerate could also make it through a price of $20 a barrel for a year or two without having to seek additional funding or pull the plug on its oil production.

“Most of PTTEP’s [PTT Exploration and Production] petroleum fields in the Gulf of Thailand have a production cost of $30 a barrel. Their cash costs are $18. So at $20 a barrel, they can still continue their production,” he said.

Chief financial officer Wirat Uanarumit said PTTremained financially solid. Its problem lies in how to make better use of its ample liquidity, which has soared to Bt300 billion, after its cuts in investments and lowered capital requirements. Most of that is parked in short-term investments and cash.

“As a CFO, I might not be happy [to have so much liquidity]. But we hope there will be more deals for us to shop this year,” he said.

As a way to reduce its cash holdings, PTT would consider relaxing its dividend pay-out limit to return some extra money to its shareholders. It is also negotiating to prepay some loans and debentures.

PTT’s profits looked poorer last year because of the impairment charges that it took, while operating results and cash flow remained relatively strong. And the impairment charges will be much lower this year.

PTT could consider making additional investments but it is proceeding cautiously at this juncture, Tavin said.

“Today we are at a crossroads. With low oil prices, we have to consider if the investment returns [on new petroleum-related projects] will be worthwhile. But if we don’t invest, we will lose the chance to receive a return when oil prices stage a comeback,” he said.

Somporn Vongvuthipornchai, president and CEO of PTTEP, the hardest-hit subsidiary of PTT Group, said the company had set a target to reduce its production costs further to $38 a barrel this year from $40 at present.

While negotiating to postpone high-risk, high-return investment projects, the company expects to maintain its oil and gas production at about 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day this year.

Tevin said PTT would conclude its study by the end of this year of a plan to restructure its oil-refining and petrochemical units, which are now run by more than 10 separate companies.

Wirat said the objective “is to gain critical mass and efficiencies from the synergy derived from the integrated production of the units. They will also be allowed to be run by experts in their fields.”

During the first nine months of last year, PTT reported consolidated net profit of Bt19.75 billion, after an impairment provision of about Bt35 billion from its 65-per-cent owned subsidiary PTTEP, which booked impairment charges on its assets of nearly Bt50 billion.

PTT Group’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation dropped by only 8.8 per cent on year, despite Dubai crude’s dive of 47.8 per cent during the period.

PR spending to fuel consulting firm’s revenue boost

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/PR-spending-to-fuel-consulting-firms-revenue-boost-30276720.html

PR BUSINESS

THE COMPANY 124 Communication Consulting has high hopes for public and private spending on public relations to help boost its revenue by 20 per cent this year.

“We aim to win some big projects from the Commerce Ministry this year,” chairman Nimitz Modrakee said yesterday.

He expects the government to spend a large budget on PR for its planned infrastructure mega-projects in line with a series of stimulus packages throughout this year.

Public spending on PR is targeted at 30 per cent of the firm’s revenue in 2016, increasing from 20 per cent last year, with private clients contributing the rest.

The consulting company is also focusing on private clients, particularly in financial and banking services, manufacturing, food and beverages and public affairs.

Recognising the emergence of digital media, the 30-year-old PR firm now offers social-media-based communications services to expand its sources of revenue and respond to new assignments from existing clients.

The company will not be able to raise its retainers from 16 existing clients as a result of intense competition from international PR consulting chains and local players.

However, 10 new clients are expected to bring more revenue.

To expand opportunities to make more money, the company also offers training on crisis management to existing clients. Last year, it conducted about six of those programmes.

This year, both public and private sectors will continue to launch PR campaigns despite the sluggish economy and severe drought in rural areas, so the PR industry is expected to enjoy at least 15-per-cent growth, Nimitz said.

Maybank Asset to boost AUM via funds

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/Maybank-Asset-to-boost-AUM-via-funds-30276706.html

OUTLOOK

Maybank Asset Management expects to lift its assets under management (AUM) to Bt10 billion by launching four or five foreign funds this year.

“Our position is to be the leader in investment abroad with good connections in the Asean region, so there is no escaping bringing in unique foreign funds – different from the products in the Thai industry – for investors here,” Triphon Phumiwasana, chief executive officer, said yesterday.

The company expects investment to be fluctuating and challenging this year because of four risk factors – China’s economy, oil prices, the United States’ election and its labour costs.

The AUM target is vastly different from its current AUM of about Bt1.2 billion.

Individual investors should keep an eye on small capitalisation stocks in the euro zone and Japanese shares.

The first foreign fund will be launched in March with a focus on high-growth industries.

One or two of the four foreign funds that will launched this year are going be managed by Maybank Asset Management itself with the aim of showing its potential and also the opportunities within Asean.

“Managing more of our own funds this year should also provide a clearer profile of how the company can provide opportunities via Maybank Asset’s offices within Asean,” Triphon said.

Maybank Asset Management expanded its AUM by 15 per cent to Bt1.2 billion in 2015, which is similar to the Bt1 billion in assets that it was managing back in 2014.

Maybank Asset also increased the ratio of foreign investment funds in its AUM from six to eight funds last year.

Fluctuations in global markets caused limited growth in advanced economies and the US Federal Reserve’s interest-rate increase has added more concern in the market.

“Nevertheless, there are still opportunities in the long term,” he said.

Oil prices, China’s economy and uncertainty in the euro zone will continue to be risk factors this year.

If US labour costs increase too fast and drastically, then it could hurt US companies’ profits this year, but if labour costs increase too slowly and weakly, then it could hurt America’s economic recovery and overall liquidity.

“If investors want to invest by themselves this year, then I believe that small-cap stocks in Europe are interesting because their valuations are currently recovering and they are not so expensive.

“US shares that benefit from mergers and acquisitions are also interesting,” Triphon said.

“Japanese shares have remained interesting.

“Try to avoid long-term bonds but invest in bonds with high yields, especially in Europe.”

IFC helps expand Myanmar’s retail business

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/IFC-helps-expand-Myanmars-retail-business-30276689.html

Yangon – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, on Monday signed an agreement to lend US$25 million to Myanmar’s largest retail group, City Mart Holding Company Limited (CMHL), to support its expansion plans, boost the country’s retail sector, and create much-needed jobs along the supply chain.

IFC’s funding will help CMHL construct about 20 more supermarkets and hypermarkets across the country over the next 3 years, it said in a statement.

Founded in 1996, with a total of over 150 different retail outlets so far, the expansion will also enable the company to integrate more farmers, micro, small and medium enterprises, and other suppliers into its supply chain and distribution networks.

CMHL expects to increase its purchases from domestic suppliers sixfold, reaching around $150 million by 2021, and create nearly 4,000 new jobs – half of which will be for women.

“IFC’s investment is a sign of confidence in our business plan as well as in Myanmar’s retail sector potential,” said Win Win Tint, managing director of CMHL. “In addition to funding, IFC’s expertise and advice on food safety, good social and environmental practices and corporate governance will also help us take the company to the next level.”

Best Western addes new resort in Phuket

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/Best-Western-addes-new-resort-in-Phuket-30276687.html

Best Western Hotels & Resorts has unveiled plans to open a new resort in Phuket, boosting the number of managed properties in the province to four and in the country to ten.

The company has signed an agreement to operate the new brand Best Western Premier Himalai resort which will be located on Kamala beach.

“Best Western Premier Himalai Resort will be an exceptional upscale hotel in an idyllic setting, combining the very best of Thai hospitality with Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ world-famous international standards,” said Olivier Berrivin, Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ Managing Director of International Operations – Asia.

The group currently operates two hotels in Phuket, 5 in Bangkok and 1 in Buri Ram.

The new property in Phuket will feature 425 rooms and suites with meeting facilities to cater to corporate guests.

“Phuket continues to enchant the global travellers with its stunning sandy beaches and ever-expanding range of visitor attractions,” said Berrivin.

GMM Grammy sets Bt2 bn for digital TV programming

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/GMM-Grammy-sets-Bt2-bn-for-digital-TV-programming-30276657.html

GMM Grammy is earmarking more than Bt2 billion for content production at its two terrestrial-based digital-TV channels this year to achieve its ambitious goal of becoming a major broadcaster in the new industry.

“The success of the digital-TV business is based mainly on quality content and the right programming,” Takonkiet Viravan, chief executive officer of GMM One Digital TV, the operator of One channel, said yesterday.

About Bt1.5 billion will be allocated for several programmes in high definition for One, while the balance of Bt600 million will be used to make shows in standard definition for GMM 25.

Under its key strategy founded on more than 20 years in the TV and music production business, One will develop super prime-time soap operas, series and situation comedies to attract its main targets, which are mass audiences in Bangkok and urban areas.

After its success in offering those kinds of TV programmes, One keeps expanding its super prime-time shows to weekends on top of weekday prime time in line with top-rated variety, sitcom and reality shows.

The “Star 12” and “Song Kram Nang Ngam” casting project are examples.

One will also focus more on midday airtime slots, starting at 11.30am and going to 1.30pm, filling them with daily news and entertainment shows.

In light of the volatile economy, the company has to take a cautious approach in spending on TV production this year.

Besides entertainment, sport is another area that One wants to key in on.

In March, it will telecast the rematch between Thailand and Iraq.

The company targets average ratings of 1 point to become a top-three player this year, increasing from 0.3 point and sixth last year, so that it can raise its average ad rate by about 50 per cent from Bt30,000 per minute this year.

The highest rate of Bt150,000 per minute could also be increased.

One aims to post Bt1.8 billion in revenue this year, mainly from ad spots, product tie-ins and show business, almost doubling last year’s Bt1 billion revenue.

Clients and media agencies have already booked about 50 per cent of total airtime.

According to an analyst at Bualuang Securities, GMM 25 will continue to focus on slotting entertaining dramas and fun premieres at 8pm for younger audiences.

GMM 25 has differentiated content, namely “Club Friday the Series” and “I Wanna Be Sup’tar”.

Led by Saithip Montrikul Na Ayudhaya, CEO of GMM Channel Digital TV, GMM 25 will strive to sell more product tie-ins, which already account for 70 per cent of total airtime.

GMM 25 channel has sold Bt200 million to Bt300 million worth of ad spots and product tie-ins so far this year. Revenue for the whole year is expected to double to Bt800 million.

To attract more advertisers and media buyers, GMM 25 also offers online and on-ground services.

NBTC to consider Thaicom satellite licence request

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/NBTC-to-consider-Thaicom-satellite-licence-request-30276647.html

THE TELECOM committee of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will today consider Thaicom’s licence request for its upcoming Thaicom 9 broadband satellite.

The new satellite will be positioned at a 119.5-degrees-east orbital slot to serve Asia-Pacific countries, including Thailand.

According to the NBTC, Thaicom applied for a 20-year licence in September. Thaicom 9 will be a broadband satellite like Thaicom’s existing IPSTAR.

In 2012, the NBTC awarded a 20-year licence to Thaicom to operate any of its satellites launched under that licence, which includes Thaicom 7 at a 120 degrees east longitude and Thaicom 8 at a 78.5-degrees-east position.

Thaicom asked for a separate licence for its Thaicom 9 to match the life span of the satellite, as its existing licence has only 16 years remaining.

The development of Thaicom 9 is expected to take three years. If the company uses the existing licence for Thaicom 9, it will likely have only 13 years left once the satellite is launched.

The NBTC telecom committee will have to consider whether Thaicom 9 can operate under the company’s existing licence or if it needs a separate licence.

Earlier, Thaicom said it had conducted a technical study on the Thaicom 9 project development. The project is estimated to cost US$200 million (Bt2.7 billion) and will feature a 20-gigabyte capacity.

Thaicom also operates three satellites under an Information and Communications Technology Ministry concession. They are the Thaicom 5 and 6 broadcasting satellites and the Thaicom 4 broadband satellite, better known as IPSTAR.

The telecom committee will today also consider Advanced Info Service’s request to extend the deadline for switching off its 900-megahertz service by another 180 days.

The NBTC’s original resolution called for AIS to switch off the service once a 900MHz licence is granted to either of the two companies that obtained one at a recent auction.

True Move H Universal Communication of True Corp and Jas Mobile Broadband of Jasmine International were the winning bidders for the two 900MHz licences. Both are expected to pay the first instalment of the upfront licence fee this month, and the committee will award the licences soon.

After turnaround, IRPC boss confident of remaining profitable this year

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/After-turnaround-IRPC-boss-confident-of-remaining–30276645.html

AFTER steering a turnaround of IRPC into a profitable concern last year, its president Sukrit Surabotsopon continues to see bright prospects for the integrated oil refiner and petrochemical company, even with the current slowdown of the Chinese economy.

Speaking at a seminar held for media and local investors in Phuket last weekend, the IRPC boss said the company was well on track for no decline in profits this year from its full-year results for 2015, which are due to be reported to the Stock Exchange of Thailand next month.

IRPC marked a turnaround with a net profit of Bt8.95 billion for the first nine months of last year. It booked a net loss of Bt5.2 billion in 2014, chiefly due to unrealised inventory losses as oil prices fell remarkably.

Sukrit said that although IRPC would undergo a 30-day scheduled maintenance shutdown of its refinery in November and December, and oil prices continued to slide, which might result in another stock loss, he was confident of this year’s results because refining margins and petrochemical spreads were expected to continue to be good for the next couple of years.

Furthermore, IRPC is also expected to reap a US$100-million (Bt3.6 billion) gain this year from its business transformation programme dubbed the “Everest” project, which it launched with a leading global consulting firm in November. Under the scheme, the company targets $300 million of incremental profit annually from 2020, using 2015 as its base year.

“We have found a gap of $300 million per year against the world’s top-quartile petroleum and petrochemical companies,” he said.

To come on par with the top-quartile producers, IRPC will also need to boost its return on invested capital (ROIC) to 14 per cent, from 8 per cent at present, and to increase its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from Bt18 billion to Bt29 billion annually by 2020.

Sukrit said IRPC had so far been able to find other markets, mainly in Asean, to substitute to a good degree for the Chinese market. Last year, China accounted for 40 per cent of IRPC’s total petrochemical exports, down from 60 per cent in the past. The firm exported 45 per cent of its total petrochemical output in 2015.

Sukrit said IRPC, which had invested several billions of dollars over the past couple of years in many projects to expand its production capacity, had shifted its focus to invest more in knowledge, such as the Everest project, to make more money out of its already-invested assets.

The company also aims to increase its research and development spending from 0.2 per cent of total revenue to 1 per cent this year and to 2-3 per cent by 2020.

Meanwhile, Sukrit said IRPC expected its subsidiary Thai ABS to double its sales within five years as its Japanese partner Nippon A&L had agreed to expand the market coverage for the firm to otherAsean markets. Nippon A&L is also seeking to increase its shareholding in Thai ABS from 35 per cent to 49 per cent.

Doubling the sales and profit of IRPC Polyol is also targeted, thanks to closer collaboration with its foreign partner in the polyol marketing joint venture PCC Rokita SA, which is also seeking a stake in its polyol factory.

Avin Sony, vice president for institutional sales at Asia Plus Securities, said he believed that IRPC’s Everest project was achievable, although it was never a certainty for companies operating in a commodity business like IRPC to ensure profitability.

“Nevertheless, being efficient is important, since it will make it perform better [than] others in good times,” he commented.

Sony said his main concern was the continuity of the top leadership at IRPC, since it had undergone quite frequent changes in the past.

TrueVisions faces fines over channel numbering

Published มกราคม 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/TrueVisions-faces-fines-over-channel-numbering-30276639.html

TRUEVISIONS will tomorrow face at least a Bt1-million fine and a daily fine of Bt50,000 as it has failed to comply with the rule to rearrange its digital TV channel numbers as ordered by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

Sombat Leelapata, acting deputy secretary-general of the NBTC, said yesterday that all five members of the broadcasting committee agreed to issue an administrative order to fine the country’s largest pay-TV operator for the breach. TrueVisions slots some free-to-air TV stations outside the area reserved for 12 public and 24 commercial digital TV channels.

The stations are TV5, Channel 3, Channel 7, MCOT HD, TNN 24 and True4U.

All 24 commercial digital TV channels have gained the privilege to be aired on pay-TV platforms as well as digital-TV receivers so that they can sell up to 12 minutes of commercials per hour.

But if pay-TV operators and selected digital-TV stations provide some commercial digital channels outside the permitted channel range, they are considered as violating the rule, because only pay-TV channels are allowed to be aired outside the reserved range.

Pay-TV stations are allowed to sell up to six minutes of commercials per hour.

“This action is considered consumer exploitation. The NBTC’s broadcasting committee, therefore, decided to issue an administrative order against TrueVisions,” Sombat said.

The NBTC has received confirmation from TV5, Channel 7, Channel 3 and MCOT HD that they did not grant permission to TrueVisions to carry out the channel assignments in question.

“I’m not sure if True4U and TNN24 have clarified that they were not involved with the TrueVisions issue.

“But if they are associated with this matter, both digital TV channels will be punished as well,” he said.

True4U and TNN24 are affiliated with TrueVisions.

TrueVisions will also face another penalty after it insisted on reserving channels 11-46 for digital stations in breach of the NBTC’s order for consistent channel numbering by all platforms for digital stations, which have been assigned the channel numbers 1-36.

Appeal discussed

For the second breach, TrueVisions faces a daily fine of Bt20,000 starting last Thursday. If it still fails to comply with this order for 30 days, it will incur tougher punishment ranging from a higher fine to suspension of its broadcasting licence.

Naetchanok Wipatasinlapin, managing director of True4U, has said her station may join TrueVisions’ appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court.

“Discussion among management teams about this issue is still under way. We hope that we can find a way to compromise with the NBTC. If not, we might appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court soon,” she said.

Last year, TrueVisions, True4U and TNN24 took this matter to the Central Administrative Court as they opposed this order, but the court ruled in favour of the NBTC.

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