INVESTMENT PLAN

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Big C plans REIT as part of Casino Group’s financial strategy for 2016

Published ธันวาคม 25, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/Big-C-plans-REIT-as-part-of-Casino-Groups-financia-30275079.html

INVESTMENT PLAN

France-based Casino Group has decided to strengthen its financial flexibility with a deleveraging plan next year of more than 2 billion euros (Bt78.8 billion), mainly through real-estate transactions and the disposal of non-core assets.

One of the plan’s components consists of externalising the value of the group’s real-estate portfolio through the participation of investors in its real-estate activities in Thailand and Colombia.

In Thailand, Casino’s Big C owns almost 800,000 square metres of gross leasable area (GLA) in its shopping malls, which are located in prime areas all across the country.

In Colombia, Xito’s real-estate activity includes more than 300,000 square metres of GLA, excluding hypermarkets.

Those transactions will create value for all shareholders and will enable both companies to pursue their development in their respective markets, where they already own leading positions, the group announced.

Big C Thailand and Xito will continue to fully consolidate their real-estate activities, it said.

The disposal of non-core assets includes in particular a project to sell the group’s operations in Vietnam.

Casino Group will therefore continue to focus on its growth strategy in its key markets in France, Latin America and Asia around buoyant assets.

Combined with the expected progression of free cash flow after dividends in France, this deleveraging programme will contribute to a significant improvement its financial structure, the group explained.

Meanwhile, Big C Supercentre’s board yesterday approved a plan to issue a real estate investment trust (REIT) to raise funds from the capital market in the next year, said Robert James Cissell, chief executive officer and president of the Thai listed company.

He said the budget and strategic priorities for the company next year and beyond were to further strengthen its platform and expand it, while at the same time maintaining tight financial discipline.

Big C is also considering monetisation options of part of its real estate, in particular the creation of a REIT.

A REIT is a fund under the trustee’s ownership. The trust founder can use an income-generating property to raise new capital for further development and investment in future projects.

A REIT provides a relatively strong and stable return on investment through rental income and other revenue streams as specified by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s regulations.

A part of Big C’s real estate – mostly comprising its Big C shopping centres – will be injected into the REIT, the CEO said.

Big C is considering several strategic alternatives and the exact portfolio has yet to be completed, with other assets such as some real estate at the hypermarket sites or logistics assets possibly included, as well.

The main objective of this strategic project is to make sure that the organisation of the company’s real-estate portfolio is optimised, and subsequently to unlock value for Big C shareholders, Cissell said.

Given the early stage of the project and the timeline to completion, it is too early to decide what would be the proceeds, and their use would depend on market opportunities, in the best interest of shareholders. The REIT will be an attractive way to maximise capital allocation for Big C shareholders, he said.

“At this stage, we are starting to conduct an in-depth analysis of our options in the first quarter of next year. Such a transaction typically takes six to nine months to be structured. Further communication will be issued as the project materialises,” he added.

In a challenging market, Big C expects to maintain its brand price leadership in 2016 while benefiting from the improvement in store productivity and in working-capital efficiency with a completed supply-chain overhaul, he explained.

Expansion is targeted to continue to ramp up next year with the opening of six hypermarkets, three Big C Markets and 75 Mini Big C stores.

A further seven major Alcudia renovations should be completed during the year, including the Lop Buri and Bang Plee stores, work on which started in July.

Italthai Group announces Bt11-bn investment plan

Published เมษายน 29, 2015 by SoClaimon

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/Italthai-Group-announces-Bt11-bn-investment-plan-30258941.html

INVESTMENT PLAN

Italthai Group, a leading industrial and commercial development operator, has set aside an investment budget of Bt11 billion in the year 2015-2019, during which time it aims to double its revenue to Bt25.8 billion.

Group chief executive officer Yuthachai Charanachitta announced the investment plan yesterday after opening “Italthai Expo”, held at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre to celebrate the group’s 60th anniversary.

As a central part of the expo, an “Infinite Opportunities” exposition targets customers and potential customers, business associates and university students, and showcases Italthai Group’s business portfolio, which is balanced between two sectors that are fundamental to the economy.

These are construction and construction equipment, which is tied to Thailand’s development and infrastructure projects; and hospitality and lifestyle, which is tied to the country’s globally competitive tourism offerings.

Yuthachai said the company had more than 30 pieces of heavy construction equipment on display, as well as its multiple offerings in the hospitality and lifestyle sector, making this the biggest exposition of its business that the company had ever organised.

“We hope that the exposition will give visitors a sense of the breadth and scale of our business as we ramp up our investments to capture the opportunities offered by the AEC [Asean Economic Community],” he said.

“In the era of the AEC, we have to be proactive to succeed, and we are leveraging both domestic and international opportunities,” he added.

The chief executive said that of the Bt11 billion Italthai Group had announced as its planned investments over the next five years, about Bt3 billion would be invested this year.

To support Italthai Group’s goal to double revenues by 2019, its most recent initiative on the construction and construction equipment side of the business is the setting up of a rental fleet of more than 30 20-tonne Volvo excavators at a cost of Bt140 million.

The machines are to be offered to customers as a “total operations” package.

“In line with our strategy to focus on superior service to Thailand’s leading contractors, we will provide equipment and operators, as well as a full package of operational support, including maintenance, spare parts and other running requirements.

“This new, packaged offering will help contractors reduce their start-up investment and the cash-flow burden on their project, as well as completely eliminate a customer’s need to manage the operations of such equipment,” he explained.

Yuthachai also said that in the first quarter of this year, Italthai Group had been awarded construction contracts for renewable-energy projects worth Bt4.9 billion, with a total capacity of 177 megawatts, of which wind farms account for 90MW and solar farms for 87MW.

Pushing into India

On the hospitality and lifestyle side of the business, Italthai Group has begun an aggressive push into India, aiming to operate at least 10 properties in India, Sri Lanka and Maldives by 2022 as part of its goal to become a leading hospitality operator in the Asia-Pacific region.

He confirmed that Italthai’s Onyx Hospitality Group would begin construction next year of an Amari-branded hotel as part of the World Trade Centre Noida project, about 20 kilometres southeast of New Delhi in Noida city. Noida has the highest per-capita income in the National Capital Region of India.

The property will have 120 rooms, 30 branded residences, three restaurants, meeting and convention facilities, and a Breeze Spa.

Onyx will also begin construction next year of an Amari Residences project that will offer 120 serviced apartments together with a restaurant, pool and fitness centre in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), near Ahmedabad.

The project is a part of the GIFT World Trade Centre development.

Onyx currently operates 38 properties with 6,257 rooms, with a further 18 properties under construction.

The goal is to exceed 100 properties in the next five years, said the CEO.

TUF plans new shrimp plant via JV in India

Published เมษายน 29, 2015 by SoClaimon

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/TUF-plans-new-shrimp-plant-via-JV-in-India-30258597.html

INVESTMENT PLAN

caption: Thai Union Frozen Products

caption: Thai Union Frozen Products

Thai Union Frozen Products, a global seafood company, is looking at building a new shrimp-processing plant in India through a joint venture formed with Avanti Feeds, a publicly listed Indian firm in which TUF has a 25.1-per-cent stake.

Rittirong Boonmechote, president for the global shrimp business of TUF, said yesterday that the company was looking to expand in India via the new JV, in which it would hold a higher stake.

The new shrimp plant will have a production capacity of 15,000 tonnes per year, compared with 8,000 tonnes per year at the existing plant running under Avanti Feeds. It will require an investment of anywhere from US$10 million to $20 million (Bt324 million to Bt648 million).

TUF chose to expand in India because it already has a base there, while it can provide better technologies and access to markets such as the United States, where it has a distribution network.

Avanti Feeds, a processor and exporter of shrimp feed and frozen shrimp, reported total revenues of Bt8.89 billion last year, rising from Bt5.3 billion in 2013. Its profits nearly doubled to Bt654 million from Bt336 million.

Rittirong said Thailand’s shrimp output was expected to increase by 20-25 per cent to 250,000-275,000 tonnes this year, after plunging to a record low last year because of the continued impact from early mortality syndrome.

The EMS epidemic has wiped out two-thirds of Thailand’s shrimp. Thailand was producing about 650,000 tonnes annually three years ago. India and Indonesia have stormed ahead by increasing their sales from 80,000 tonnes to about 350,000 tonnes a year during the period.

The situation has weakened the competitiveness of the Thai shrimp industry, which has the potential of processing a million tonnes per year – four times the current fresh-shrimp output.

“From being the world’s leader, today our output is lower than Ecuador’s,” Rittirong said.

The government should give more importance to the Bt100-billion shrimp industry, which has received only Bt90 million in support from the state, including help in funding the establishment of a nucleus-breeding centre.

The government should also redouble its efforts to negotiate free-trade agreements and other trade privileges for Thai shipments, he said.

“If we are slower than other countries, in one or two years buyers could flee to other countries.”

The local shrimp industry has also been hit by the appreciation of the baht, which over the past three years has strengthened by 25 per cent against the Vietnamese dong and 32 per cent against the Indonesian rupiah.

TUF wants to boost shrimp products under its own brands to half of total sales in five years from 30 per cent at present. It also aims to raise its sales to new markets from 5 per cent to 30 per cent in three years to reduce its reliance on US and European markets, which currently account for the lion’s share.

Ratch may invest in 5 solar plants in Japan

Published เมษายน 22, 2015 by SoClaimon

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/Ratch-may-invest-in-5-solar-plants-in-Japan-30258104.html

INVESTMENT PLAN

Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding is considering investing in up to five solar-driven electricity-generation projects with a combined production capacity of 100 megawatts in Japan in partnership with a Taiwanese company.

Ratch chief executive officer Pongdit Potejana said the company planned to conclude its investment expansion with Chow Steel Industries with one or two more projects, in addition to the current joint venture in two solar-plant projects.

In addition, Ratch is interested in projects pertaining to the acquisition of two power plants (local and foreign) with a combined production capacity of 2,000MW, as well as a coal mine in Indonesia (with 100 tonnes of reserves), which will require an investment of US$800 million to $1 billion (Bt26 billion to Bt32 billion).

Ratch is conducting due diligence on these projects, which it hopes can be finalised this year.

It also plans to build a 36MW solar plant in Collinsville, Australia, to replace its currently suspended coal-fired power plant. Ratch expects to conclude this project by next year. Its subsidiary Ratchaburi-Australia Corporation will be the investor in building the solar plant, which would require investment of about Bt80 million to Bt100 million per megawatt.

The construction permit for the project has been obtained. Ratch |is in the process of forming an investment partnership for the project.

Ratch projects net profit of at least Bt5 billion this year, down from last year’s Bt6.2 billion. This is because of the lower electricity selling fees. However, net profit could increase when the revenue from the newly acquired power plant is recognised, Pongdit said.

Ratch usually exceeds its profit target by focusing on projects that bring in revenue quickly, such as through mergers or acquisitions of power plants that offer good returns on investment (at least 10 per cent). This is better than spending five or six years to build a power plant before revenue can be earned, the CEO said.

As for the progress on the investment in the 600MW coal-fired power plant in Chiang Gong, Myanmar, Ratch expects a memorandum of agreement to be signed this quarter.

The signing of the MoA for a 2,640MW clean-coal-fired power plant in Marid, Myanmar, in which Ratch holds a 45-per-cent equity stake, should take place next month. Construction will begin next year, and should be completed within five years, with electricity expected to be distributed in 2021, Pongdit said.

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