Economy April 28, 2016 01:00

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Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group (KKP) and Yuanta Securities Asia Financial Services, a Taiwanese securities firm with regional operations in Asia and Southeast Asia, signed an agreement yesterday for a 99.99-per-cent share purchase of KKTRADE Securities

The approval of Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission and Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission will be requested, after which this process is expected to be completed within three months.
Upon completion of the transaction, KKP’s capital market business for private clients will be operated under Phatra Securities and Phatra Asset Management.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has set aside Bt18 million for organising a new auction for a 900MHz licence.
The NBTC telecom committee approved the budget yesterday, and the auction will be held on May 27.
Line Thailand has announced plans to create a new R&D unit and recruit capable Thai developers in conjunction with its establishment.
The new unit will create new services and apps focusing on Thai users’ needs. 
Managing director Ariya Banomyong said: “Line is announcing it is setting up a development team in Thailand, with the ambition of developing the next new services of Line by a Thai team, for the 33 million Line users. We are looking for energetic and crazy talented developers, who want to make an impact, and create useful services in Thai people’s daily lives.”
Previously, all Line family apps and services were built by developers in other countries and then only adapted or adjusted when necessary for the Thai market.
Some apps like Line TV and Line Music were created based in part on ideas from Thailand, but development was always ultimately directed by other Line offices.
Potential positions include development team lead, software engineer, iOS or Android engineer, application analyst, and mobile or application developer.
Those interested should add Line Career TH official account or submit their CV to unicorn@linecorp.com. 
Gaysorn Property yesterday announced an investment Bt3 billion to build Gaysorn Tower in the heart of Bangkok.
The project is a modern tower and office building with a novel lifestyle concept of “Work – Live – Play – Grow”.
The tower will closely connect work life to numerous lifestyle experiences in 18 other major buildings in Ratchaprasong.
The project will be open for space reservation soon.
Managing director Fafuen Temboonkiat said the large-scale property project would make a significant contribution to the business of Gaysorn Group and help spur the country’s economy at large.
The Bt3-billion property is being developed with a total area of more than 63,000 square metres next to Gaysorn shopping centre, he said.
Standard and Poor’s stripped ExxonMobil, the largest US oil company and the world’s fifth-largest producer, of its triple-A rating on Tuesday. 
The company had held the rating since 1930.
The downgrade leaves just two US companies – Microsoft and Johnson and Johnson – with triple-A credit ratings, according to Agence France-Presse. 
S&P said that the oil giant’s rising debt and weaker earnings outlook meant it no longer qualified for the highest credit grade.
The one-notch cut is the latest ripple effect on the oil industry from crashing crude prices, which have forced a number of smaller producers into bankruptcy.
Thai AirAsia opens Vientiane flights
Thai AirAsia has opened new daily flights from Bangkok to Vientiane, its second Thai-Laotian connection after the Bangkok-Luang Prabang route, which launched its inaugural flight on March 24. 
AirAsia is the first airline to connect the Laotian capital and Luang Prabang throughout CLMV, making it the low-fare airline with the most flights in Asean, with now has connections from Thailand to seven Asean countries totalling 15 destinations.
Santisuk Klongchaiya, director of commercial for Thai AirAsia, said the airline had received very strong positive feedback from its first connection between Thailand and Laos, with the flight to Luang Prabang achieving an average load factor of 80-85 per cent. This strong response prompted the airline to add a second connection from Bangkok to Vientiane.
Warehouse lease pact
Jelly Belly Candy Company (Thailand), a subsidiary of US-based Jelly Belly Candy Co, a manufacturer of jelly beans and other candies, recently signed a lease agreement for a warehouse at the Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate (Rayong), which will enable the company to serve its worldwide markets better. 
Covering a total area of 9,282 square metres, the warehouse will be used to store raw materials and finished products manufactured in its plant on the estate. 
TCC Technology Co, a leading Thai provider of data centres and IT infrastructure, and Internet Initiative Japan Inc, one of the largest Internet and enterprise cloud service providers in Japan, have established a joint venture, Leap Solutions Asia Co, to provide full-scale cloud services in Thailand. 
The new joint venture is expected to take Thailand to the leading market position in cloud services in Asia within three years.
SiamEast plans IPO
SiamEast Solutions, a supplier of a variety of pumps, pumping systems and services, has submitted a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission for its initial public offering of 60 million shares before being registered in the Market for Alternative Investment.
The company recently appointed RHB (Thailand) Securities Company as its financial adviser.
Ratachai Teratanavat, managing director of investment banking for RHB (Thailand), said SiamEast Solutions’ IPO of 60 million shares amounted to 25 per cent of its common shares that were issued earlier and fully paid up.
Esso launches loyalty card 
Esso (Thailand) has introduced “Esso Smiles”, its first customer loyalty card in the country, as part of its commitment to deliver a world-class customer experience to Thai customers and grow retail fuel sales.
According to Yodpong Sutatham, director and retail sales manager, Esso’s retail business targets a 5-7 per cent increase in sales this year, while the average industry growth should be no less than 5 per cent. 
“We believe that in addition to a superior customer experience, the customer loyalty programme is important to the continued growth of our business,” he said. The card requires no application fee. Applications can be filed at selected stations nationwide starting May 1.
With every qualifying litre of fuel cardholders purchase, they will earn points and benefits that suit their individual lifestyles, including redeemable points with Tesco Lotus and AirAsia BIG. 
Other fuel retailers in Thailand that have launched similar cards are Shell and Bangchak Petroleum. 
“In 2015, we made significant investments to deliver a world-class customer experience,” said Mongkolnimit Auacherdkul, director and public and government affairs manager. “This included upgrades to existing stations nationwide and partnerships with key convenience stores Tesco Lotus Express and Family Mart, coffee-shop operators Rabika and D’Oro, and fast-food chains McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King to provide additional retailing options for our customers. 
“We also plan to open around 30 more stations by the end of this year.”
ITE eyes Bt5.6 bn revenue
Italthai Engineering (ITE) targets total revenue of Bt5.6 billion this year on expectation of an estimated income of Bt8 billion five years from now.
“The company has studied the feasibility of expanding its businesses into neighbouring countries, particularly Myanmar,” ITE president Sakol Laosuwan said. “Businesses extend from construction and energy to ICT,” or information and communications technology. In 2015, ITE recorded a 61-per-cent surge year on year in revenue to Bt5.18 billion. Of total income, 45 per cent came from the construction of alternative-energy plants, 35 per cent from high-rise buildings and plant system works, and 20 per cent from electricity-substation construction. 
Govt revenue rises in H1
Net government revenue increased 10.2 per cent year on year to Bt1.08 trillion for the first half of fiscal year 2016, which started last October. The half-year figure was 6.4 per cent higher than the target as predicted in the government budget.