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Phuket Business: Now is the time to structure your financial investments

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Business: Now is the time to structure your financial investments | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Now that 2012 is in full swing and no doubt many of the New Year’s resolutions have been thrown out of the window, it’s time to get a hold of the purse strings and have a set plan for the forthcoming year.

I have already given my views on what I believe we can expect from the year ahead. The financial rollercoaster ride is certain to continue for the next 12 months, so what would be the best way to survive the turbulence?

One thing that recently seems to have become a lot more popular is the rise of an investment called a structured note. So what is a structured note and what are the positives and also the negatives of this?

Firstly, let me explain what a structured note is.

The concept of a structured note is that in times of volatile markets it will enable you to benefit from good stock market performance while at the same time protecting you against bad market performance. In most cases a selection of stocks will be chosen. This tends to be in specific geographical areas or industries. Each structured note is likely to have an investment time frame from 12 months to 5 years and will have an initial valuation date and a final valuation date.

That’s the easy bit explained. Now the note will provide a pre-determined level of capital protection. In most cases this tends to be 50%. During the life of the note, the investor receives interest on a quarterly basis. What this means is that should none of the stocks selected fall by 50 per cent, the note will pay the interest. Again, this is valued on a quarterly basis.

Structured notes also have the ability to be autocalled. This normally means that should all the stocks selected be above their initial 100% level on the quarterly valuation date, the note will “autocall” and a full return of capital is given plus any interest that has been earned. Sound good?

Don’t get me wrong; as well as good points there are downsides to this and I advise anyone considering investing in one of these notes to do their research or seek professional advice.

So what are the disadvantages?

Well, a structured note is provided by an investment bank, so do your homework on the bank that is providing the note or the capital protection of the note, as we know banks have not had the easiest of rides over the last few years.

Due to structured notes having fixed terms they tend not to be very liquid, so if markets are falling dramatically, selling out of these can be quite hard.

The notes having a maximum return, in rapidly rising markets your growth can also be limited and stock markets may return more than the interest the note provides.

Also, be aware that should any of the underlying stocks within the note fall by more than 50%, on the final valuation day you will only receive the performance of the worst performing stock no matter how well any of the other stocks have performed.

So are they a good thing or a bad thing?

Well, this type of structured investment certainly has its good points and also its bad points. As with any investment, these should be held as part of a larger portfolio and I wouldn’t advise putting all your eggs in one basket.

As markets are volatile, the concept of the note is generally good. However you need to take into account the type of stocks the notes are based on, as well as the quality of investment bank issuing the notes.

For advice or information on structured notes, please contact: alyman@montpeliergroup.com.

— Athony Lymann

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Business

500 people own 36% of equity in Thai companies

Greeley Pulitzer

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500 people own 36% of equity in Thai companies | The Thaiger

Roughly 36% of Thailand’s corporate equity is held by just 500 people, highlighting wealth inequality in the Kingdom, according to a study released by the Bank of Thailand’s research institute.

Each of these 500 amass some 3.1 billion baht (102 million USD) per year in company profits, according to the report from the Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research. In contrast, average yearly household income in Thailand is around 10,000 USD.

A report out this week from the Economic and Business Research Centre for Reform at Thailand’s Rangsit University also pointed to divisive and polarised politics being another root cause of the economic divide.

Thailand’s private sector is dominated by tycoons running sprawling conglomerates. According to the World Bank, the gap between the mega-wealthy and the rest of the Thai population of 69 million is among the many economic challenges for Thailand. According to Bloomberg, the perception of a divide, exacerbated by an economic slowdown, is a major political fault line.

“Magnates arise in Thailand from institutional factors that privilege certain businesses,” said the executive director of PIER, author of the study.

The institute said Thailand needs to promote competitiveness to reduce profits from monopoly power and bolster entrepreneurship to create a more equitable distribution of corporate wealth.

The research is based on analysis of 2017 Commerce Ministry data on the 2.1 million shareholders in Thai firms, and was funded by the University of California San Diego.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thai Airways must modify rehabilitation plan to survive: Airline President

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thai Airways must modify rehabilitation plan to survive: Airline President | The Thaiger

PHOTO: gta5-mods.com

“Thai Airways will have to modify its rehabilitation plans to survive in the face of tight competition.” This frank admission by the airline’s president Sumet Damrongchaith.

The national carrier is now carrying a total debt of over 2.45 billion baht and losses of more than 20 billion, despite being able to reduce its debts by 48 billion baht over the past five years.

Sumet says the first step will be to restructure the airline’s management and finances as well as reconsider its plan to spend 1.5 billion baht on 38 new aircraft. He admits the biggest problem is that Thai Airways has low capital but a high debt-to-equity ratio of eight times.

In order to maintain its competitiveness, the carrier will have to reduce its debts versus assets and boost its working capital with support from the ministries of Transport and Finance. Hence, it plans to borrow approximately 3.2 billion baht in fiscal 2020 in line with the budget limit set by the Office of Public Debt Management.

This loan will be taken to support the airline’s investments as well as for its working capital, to update equipment and maintain existing aircraft, but will not be used to repay old debts.

The Nation also reports that the airline is also concerned about maintaining its liquidity because at the end of June this year, its revolving credit line stood at 13.4% of the total revenue forecast for 2019.

Sumet admits that, though the original rehabilitation plan has a set framework, the situation has now changed due to the appreciation of the baht, so in order to achieve goals, the work method has to be redesigned, such as finding a way to procure more passengers.

“We are now in the process of analysing new markets.”

Meanwhile, Thai Aiways’ board chairman Aek-Niti Nitithan-Praphas says the board is reconsidering plans to procure a new fleet taking into consideration the state of the global and domestic economies as well as the US-China trade war.

“The growth of the tourism industry and the airlines’ financial status needs to be reviewed in line with strong competition and routes that are no longer popular. It’s better to carefully revise the plan instead of exposing the airline to greater risk. The target should be reduce expenses by 20%.”

Meanwhile, Thai Airways aims to boost the sale of tickets, find ways of increasing online shopping of duty-free goods and reducing unnecessary expenses by 10%without affecting the quality of service in the last three months of 2019.

The airline is also negotiating the option of cutting down overtime expenses and is looking into curbing losses incurred by it’s semi-budget offshoot Thai Smile by increasing its flying hours to 10.5 hours daily. These steps are expected to help the airline reach breakeven point in the short term.

The airline is also considering long-term goals such roping in more passengers by offering greater benefits to Royal Orchid Plus members, focusing on digital marketing, retiring non-performing assets as well as increasing revenue from related businesses such as kitchens and aircraft repair centres.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Singha grabs a 90% stake in Thailand’s Santa Fe restaurant chain

May Taylor

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Singha grabs a 90% stake in Thailand’s Santa Fe restaurant chain | The Thaiger

(…or is that a 90% ‘steak’?)

PHOTOS: Wongnai

DealStreetAsia, an investor news site reporting on Asian business, confirms that Singha Corporation has purchased a majority stake in the Thai restaurant chain, Santa Fe. It’s understood that Singha purchased the shares held by Lakeshore Capital for approximately US$50 million or 1.53 billion baht, giving it a 90% stake in the chain seen in most Thai shopping centres.

The Nation reports that Singha will now oversee over 110 restaurants across Thailand in one of the country’s biggest food industry deals of the year. The company first turned its attention to the food industry two years ago, launching Food Factors Company under the Boon Rawd Brewery group.

WongnaiFood Factors aims to make 5 billion baht over 3 years under the stewardship of Piti Bhirombhakdi. The company has an ambitious long-term target of 10 billion baht a year, along with plans to be listed on the stock exchange.

The Santa Fe chain was established in 2003 by Surachai Charn-Anudet’s KT Restaurant Company, with the aim of becoming a major competitor to Sizzler, the American chain brought to Thailand by Minor Food.

SOURCE: The Nation

Singha grabs a 90% stake in Thailand's Santa Fe restaurant chain | News by The Thaiger

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