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Economy February 07, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

Ascon Construction struggles to avoid delisting


Ascon Construction is facing possible delisting from the Stock Exchange of Thailand if the company does not solve its financial difficulties within one year, while Ascon explained that it was in the bankruptcy-court process for a rehabilitation plan.

In late January 2011, the SET placed Ascon on its list of companies required to improve their financial status over the next three years or face delisting. Upon reaching the three-year deadline, such companies may request a further one-year grace period.

An anonymous source from Ascon Construction said the company had been solving its problems and had consistently reported its progress to the SET.

Recently, the company submitted to the bankruptcy court its rehabilitation plan, which was under an investigation that may last about a year, the source said, citing a lack of auditors to study the company’s financial statements.

"The company has not been able to submit financial statements as no auditors have taken them on. The company hopes to submit its financial statements for 2011-2013 by April 11," the source said.


Appliance sector suffering

The electrical-appliances and electronics sector has been adversely affected by the sluggish Thai economy, weak domestic demand and political uncertainty since mid-2013, said Supachai Suttipongchai, who oversees the sector for the Federation of Thai Industries.

The gloomy business outlook and negative growth are projected to continue this year, especially if the current political conflict is prolonged, said Supachai, who is also managing director of KrungThai Electric Co, distributor of Sharp electrical appliances in Thailand.

As a multinational firm with manufacturing plants in several countries, Sharp has shifted some orders normally filled by Thai factories to other plants in such countries as Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia to minimise the risk of late goods deliveries and potential adverse impacts from the Thai political conflict.

Sharp has postponed its investment plans in Thailand, which has been placed on its list of "high-risk" nations. The political unrest that began in 2010 in Bangkok, the widespread floods in 2011 and the continuation of unresolved political conflicts to date have led old and new investors in the Thai electrical appliances and electronics industries to diversify their business and investment risks, Supachai said.


Ch Karnchang debenture issue

Ch Karnchang will issue debentures worth Bt3 billion this month and has appointed Krungthai Bank as its underwriter.

Kittiphun Anutarasoti, senior executive vice president of KTB, said the debenture would be separated into two types. The first would have a four-year maturity period, with average coupon rate of 4.80 per cent (4.70 per cent in the first two years, and 4.90 per cent in the second), with total issuance of Bt2 billion. The second type has a maturity period of five years and nine months, worth Bt1 billion in total, with average coupon rate at 4.89 per cent, and the coupon paid every three months.

The debentures – which carry the holder’s name – are unsubordinated and unsecured.

Both debenture types will be issued in KTB branches across the country, with the minimum purchase of Bt100,000 and multiples thereof, Kittiphun said. The issuance will be in two periods. The first, from February 10-12, is for original bondholders (CK142A). The second, from February 17-20, is for general and institutional investors.

TRIS rates Ch Karnchang’s new unsecured bonds at "BBB+".