Economy April 12, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Thai Lion links Medan and Hat Yai

Thai Lion Air, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s Lion Air, launched a thrice-weekly service yesterday connecting Medan, North Sumatra, with one of the main gateways in southern Thailand, Hat Yai.

“Rather than travel to Jakarta and then fly to Bangkok, people from Medan can fly to Hat Yai and then take a flight to Bangkok,” Thai Lion Air executive managing director Andi Burhan said in a statement.

The Medan-Hat Yai route uses a new French-Italian turboprop short-haul regional airliner, the ATR 72-600.

Andi said the new connection was a faster and more convenient way to get to Bangkok from Medan, capital of North Sumatra province and Indonesia’s fourth-largest city.

Hat Yai is also Thai Lion Air’s second major hub, so passengers from Medan can make an easy connection there to other destinations in Thailand using the airline.

The Hat Yai-Bangkok service uses a new narrow-body Boeing 737-900 Extended Range (ER). – The Jakarta Post/ANN

siam city ratings affirmed

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Siam City Cement’s national long-term rating at “A(tha)”, its national short-term rating at “F1(tha)”, and its national long-term rating on its senior unsecured debentures at “A (tha)”.

The outlook is “stable”.

SCCC maintained its position as Thailand’s second-largest cement producer with a stable market share of 28 per cent in 2013. Its strong brands in cement and ready-mixed concrete have underpinned SCCC’s healthy earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation and EBITDA margins over the past 10 years. Moreover, the company’s exports have been supported by the strong marketing network of its 27.5-per-cent shareholder Holcim Ltd (“BBB/stable”).

Growth of domestic cement demand is likely to soften this year because of slower economic growth and political instability reining in consumer confidence. However, demand should recover in the medium term, in line with the country’s economic recovery, increasing property development and the government’s plan for infrastructure expansion.

Fitch expects SCCC’s sales to grow at a mid-single-digit rate (compared with the double-digit growth recorded over the past few years) in 2014, driven by increasing exports.

seagate acquires xyratex

Seagate Technology, a world leader in storage solutions, announced it had completed its previously announced acquisition of Xyratex, a leading provider of data storage technology.

“Exabyte growth is accelerating, and we are building higher capacity drives to address this growth,” said Dave Mosley, president of operations and technology at Seagate. An exabyte is a billion gigabytes.

“The time required to properly test these higher-capacity drives is increasing dramatically, making it strategically important to have uninterrupted access to world-class test equipment and engineering resources. The addition of Xyratex helps us fill this important need and considerably streamlines Seagate’s supply and manufacturing chains for our core HDD [hard disk drive] business.”

Seagate expects revenue contribution from this acquisition to be between US$500 million and $600 million (Bt16 billion to Bt19 billion), and for the acquisition to be neutral to earnings per share in its fiscal year 2015, ending July 3, 2015. All shares of Xyratex are expected to be delisted from the Nasdaq stock market immediately after the closing.