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Japanese govt to double duty-free shops to 10,000 by 2020

The Japanese government plans to double duty-free shops to about 10,000 by 2020, with an eye to the upcoming Tokyo Olympic and Paralympics.

The government is set to include such plans in its new growth strategy to be compiled at the end of June.

Currently, about 4,600 tax-free shops concentrate mainly in international airports as well as department stores and electric appliance stores in urban areas. The government intends to locate these shops not only in big cities but also in provincial areas so that more foreign tourists will be encouraged to travel there by trains and airplanes.

Under the plan, the government will take steps to help local products stores in rural areas function as duty-free shops through such measures as special workshops.

Duty-free sales are rapidly increasing at department stores in the Ginza and Shinjuku districts in Tokyo. At the Ginza Mitsukoshi department store in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, sales from duty-free items in April accounted for more than 10 per cent of its total sales in the month.

The number of foreign tourists to Japan surpassed 10 million in 2013 for the first time. The government eyes to double the number of foreign tourists in 2020. - The Japan News



Moody's assigns (P)Baa3 to PTTEP's hybrid securities

Moody’s Investors Service has assigned a provisional (P)Baa3 rating to the subordinated perpetual capital securities ("hybrid securities") to be issued by PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP).

At the same time, Moody’s has affirmed the Baa1 issuer and senior unsecured ratings of PTTEP. Moody’s has also affirmed the Baa1 ratings of PTTEP’s indirect wholly owned subsidiaries, PTTEP Australia International Finance Pty and PTTEP Canada International Finance Limited. The outlook on the ratings is stable.

The provisional status of the hybrid securities will be removed upon completion of the issuance and review of the final terms and conditions.



High rating for TBank issue

TRIS Rating has assigned a rating of "A" to the proposed issue of up to Bt13 billion in hybrid Tier 2 capital securities of Thanachart Bank (TBank). The new issue rating replaces the issue rating previously assigned on May 29 2014, following TBank's request to increase the issue size to up to Bt13 billion from Bt10 billion.

At the same time, Tris Rating has affirmed the company rating of TBank at "AA-", and has affirmed the ratings of the bank's existing subordinated debentures and hybrid Tier-2 capital securities at "A+" and "A", respectively. The outlook remains "stable". The ratings reflect TBank's experienced management team and the bank's strong market position in its core line of business, hire purchase lending.

TrisRating has also upgraded the company and senior unsecured debenture ratings of Thaicom (THCOM) to "A-" from "BBB+" and has assigned the rating of "A-" to THCOM's proposed issue of up to Bt4 billion in senior unsecured debentures. The proceeds from the new debentures will be used for the investment in Thaicom7 and debt refinancing. TRIS Rating has also revised the outlook to "stable" from "positive".

The upgrades reflect THCOM's improving business profile, driven by an increase in transponder capacity from Thaicom6 and the expected launches of Thaicom7 and Thaicom8 over the next two years. The increase in capacity is expected to support the company's business growth continuity in providing broadcasting and telecom services.


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