Office rents still lowest in region
Bangkok's office rents last year beat their 1992 record, but remained the lowest in the Asia-Pacific region, according to CB Richard Ellis (Thailand).
Office rents in Bangkok's central business district were at Bt770 per square metre per month, while Park Venture Ecoplex in Phloenchit charges the highest rate at Bt925. Average rents were Bt815, up 9 per cent from the previous year.
Throughout Asia and the Pacific, Hong Kong's rates were the highest at Bt6,650 despite a drop of 17 per cent from the previous year. Trailing behind was Tokyo at Bt5,326. On the rent scale, Bangkok was 17th.
Asia Green gets new China clients
Asia Green Energy, an importer and distributor of bituminous coal, expects Bt6 billion in revenue this year, thanks to its overseas expansion.
CEO Panom Kuansataporn said yesterday that the company recently secured an increase in its customers in China to five or six from the present three and had already delivered coal to these new customers.
The company expects to start realising revenue from the new business this quarter.
Benz sales jump 34% in 2012
Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) had a great year in 2012, with sales spurting 34 per cent to 6,274 units after new models were introduced.
Along with its expanding product portfolio, the German carmaker focused on digital marketing to reach younger buyers directly along with customer-relations activities and special privileges, Alexander Paufler, president and CEO, said yesterday.
This year, the company will do more marketing to increase sales through Mercedes-Benz's brand-awareness schemes along with launching at least six new models.
It is also continuing its Proven Exclusivity programme, a complete service in buying, selling or trading Mercedes-Benz under its used-vehicle certification programme, which has had very good feedback from customers, said Martin Schulz, vice president for sales and marketing.
Police probe cooking gas sales
Police are investigating whether any retailers of household cooking gas are selling their product to the transport and industrial sectors, which is illegal.
The Energy Ministry has asked the police to look into the matter. There are 121 household-cooking-gas plants nationwide. Police questioned 59 retailers yesterday and summoned more for questioning today. No charges were filed.
The price of liquefied petroleum gas for the industrial sector is Bt31 per kilogram, while LPG for the transport sector is Bt21 per kilo and that for households Bt18. This subsidy can encourage the illegal sales of household cooking gas to other sectors.
Exco plant coming
Exco Technologies yesterday announced that its Castool business would establish a machining facility in Thailand. The facility will cover about 1,850 square metres and the total investment, which will be made next year, is expected to be about US$5 million (Bt150 million).
Exco Technologies is a global supplier of technologies servicing the diecast, extrusion and automotive industries.
Laos project OK'd
PTT's board of directors has approved the joint investment by its subsidiary, PTT International Co, via its wholly owned subsidiary PTT International Holding Co, in Nam Lik 1 Power Co with Hydro Engineering Co and POSCO Engineering and Construction Co for the development of Nam Lik 1 Power project in Laos. Initial registered capital of the company is US$200,000 (Bt6 million) comprising 20,000 shares (at $10 per share) of which 8,000 shares, equivalent to 40 per cent investment proportion, are to be held by PTTIH.
The total project cost is about $124 million.
The Nam Lik 1 Power project will obtain a concession from the government of Laos for its design, development, construction and operation for 30 years from the effective date of the concession agreement. NL1PC will transfer the project to the Laotian government at the end of the concession period.
This project will have total installed capacity of 64.7 megawatts and will be located about 90 kilometres from Vientiane, with a power-purchase agreement to sell all generated electricity to Electricite du Laos over the term of the agreement.
Passenger demand up
The International Air Transport Association announced traffic data for 2012 showing a 5.3-per-cent year-on-year increase in passenger demand and a 1.5-per-cent drop for cargo.
The increase in passenger demand was slightly down on 2011 growth of 5.9 per cent but above the 5-per-cent 20-year average. Load factors for the year were near record levels at 79.1 per cent. Demand in international markets expanded at a faster rate (6 per cent) than domestic travel (4 per cent). In both cases emerging markets were the main drivers of growth.
The drop in demand for air cargo compared with 2011 marked the second consecutive year of decline, after a 0.6-per-cent contraction in 2011. The freight load factor for the year was 45.2 per cent.