The Nation




SCB Asset plans to take AUM past Bt1 tn in 2014

SCB Asset Management Co has set a target to boost its assets under management (AUM) past Bt1 trillion next year from Bt900 billion expected this year. President Jotika Savanananda said the Bt900 billion included the Bt70-billion TRUEGIF telecom infrastructure fund of True Corp.

Its AUM has risen to Bt728.93 billion at present from Bt664.17 billion at the end of last year. Of its present AUM, mutual funds account for Bt595.09 billion, private funds Bt50.77 billion and provident funds Bt83.06 billion. Next year it will focus on private funds, such as those of state and private universities. It now manages 11 funds for universities.

MFC to launch 3 property funds

MFC Asset Management plans to launch three property funds late this year, each worth Bt8 billion to Bt9 billion.

President Prapa Puranachote said one of them would invest in a hotel business and the other two in industrial estates.

MFC's assets under management have grown to Bt282.26 billion in the first 11 months from Bt280.45 billion at the end of last year. Its nine-month net profit rose 236 per cent to Bt319.95 million from the same period last year.

TRIS voices concerns on CGS rating

TRIS Rating says the credit rating of Country Group Securities could be affected by its business-restructuring plan, as the new structure would take away the relatively stable income from its fund-management business and would make CGS's revenue mix less diversified.

The business restructuring plan, approved by CGS' board last week, involves divesting key lines of business including investment banking and proprietary trading to a new holding company.

CGS' 24.9-per-cent stake in MFC Asset Management would be transferred to the holding company. Its share of profits from MFC accounted for 15 per cent of its pre-tax earnings last year.

The plan is subject to shareholders' approval and the restructuring is not expected to be completed sooner than next June. After the restructuring, CGS's remaining businesses would be limited to securities and derivatives brokerage and providing related services. In TRIS Rating's view, MFC provides CGS with a relatively stable source of income from fund-management fees. With CGS's securities business weakened after the recent change in key management positions, the contribution from MFC is expected to be even more important to the financial performance of CGS.

TRIS Rating views the smaller scope of business of CGS and the missing income stream from MFC to be affecting the credit rating of CGS. TRIS may review the credit rating of CGS after the outcome of the shareholders' meeting on January 15 becomes known. CGS's company rating is "BBB-" with a "stable" outlook.

American Eagle set for thai debut

American Eagle Outfitters is expanding its presence in Asia-Pacific markets with an exclusive multi-store licensing agreement in Thailand with Pacifica Lifestyle Co.

American Eagle Outfitters is a leading global speciality retailer offering clothing, accessories and personal-care products at affordable prices under its house and Aerie brands. "We are excited to introduce our brands into these high-growth and vibrant international markets as we continue to expand our global presence and build on our success to date," chief executive officer Robert Hanson said in a statement from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Stores will begin opening here in mid-2014.

Thai Lion makes maiden flight

Thai Lion Air, a subsidiary of Indonesian airline firm Lion Group, made its maiden flight on Wednesday from its base at Bangkok's Don Meuang International Airport to the northern city of Chiang Mai. The airline serves the route twice a day using Boeing B737-900 Extended Range aircraft.

CEO Captain Darsito Hendroseputro said the launch of the airline would help grow Thailand's air-passenger market and reinforce Bangkok's position as a leading international air hub.

"We have two B737-900ERs in the fleet and we plan to add two more in February. The additional aircraft will be used to increase flight frequency on existing routes and to launch new domestic and international services such as Bangkok-Hat Yai and Bangkok-Singapore," he said. It aims to launch daily non-stop flights from Bangkok to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur next year. - The Jakarta Post/ANN

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