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ASEAN STOCK WATCH Asean Affairs 15 March 2013 

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ASEAN Stocks, Belle Corp, Bumi, Astro, Golden Agri, PTT


Belle Corp. and Macau casino giant Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (MCE) have finalized their deal for the operation of the $1-billion Belle Grande hotel and casino, which is being built at the Pagcor Entertainment City in Parañaque City.

In a disclosure, Belle said its subsidiary, PremiumLeisure and Amusement Inc., closed the transactions under a previous cooperation agreement with MCE Leisure Corp., MCE Holdings Corp. and MCE Holdings No. 2 Corp. The three firms are indirect subsidiaries of MCE, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The two groups signed an operating agreement for the integrated casino, hotel, retail and entertainment complex on Diosdado Macapagal Ave. The complex is scheduled to open this year.

“Belle and related parties in the Philippines and MCE Leisure and its affiliates, as co-licensees, are expected to make equal investment contributions to the project,” the disclosure read.


Bumi looks like having a good year after the Bakries are back at the helm.

Indonesia’s coal exports are expected to rise to 330 million tons in 2013, up 6.5 percent from a year ago, the chairman of the Indonesia Coal Mining Association said on Thursday.

Indonesia is the world’s top exporter of thermal coal, largely used to fuel power stations in China and India. Its mineral sector including coal is worth $93 billion and contributes 12 percent to the country’s gross domestic product.

“Exports remain high because domestic consumption is still small,” Bob Kamandanu said on the sidelines of a conference in Singapore, adding that demand from key consumer China, especially for low-quality coal, was quite strong.

“India always needs coal and [exports to India] will continue to increase,” he also said.
Kamandanu said the government had lifted a ban on exports of low-grade coal as the coal industry has suffered from low prices during the slowdown of the global economy.

He said he did not expect the government to re-instate the export ban for at least the next two to three years.


 Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd's revenue rose 10% to RM4.3bil in the financial year ended Jan 31, 2013 driven by new customers and good take-up of value added products.

The pay-TV operator said on Thursday its profit after tax of RM420mil was within expectations. It declared a second interim dividend of 1.5 sen per 10 sen share payable on April 18 and proposed a final dividend of 1.0 sen per 10 sen share.

Elaborating on its financial performance, it said there was a high take-up of value-added products and services primarily from Astro B.yond conversion, which drove the average revenue per user (ARPU) growth of 5%

Its chief executive officer Datuk Rohana Rozhan said: "Astro continues to execute strongly on its growth strategy, delivering double-digit revenue growth of 10% to RM4.3bn in FY13.

"This is as a result of new customers and good take-up of value added products and services such as high definition (HD), Personal Video Recording (PVR), Multi-room, On Demand (Astro First and Astro Best) and Superpack, which has contributed to the ARPU growth of 5% from RM89 to RM93."


The world’s second-largest oil palm plantation firm Golden Agri-Resources Ltd. (GAR), part of the Sinar Mas Group conglomerate, is earmarking US$550 million for capital expenditure (capex) this year as it plans to acquire more concession areas and increase the capacity of its refineries.

About $200 million of the capex figure would be allocated for its upstream business, while the rest would be channeled to its downstream business, the Singapore-listed firm announced in Jakarta on Wednesday.

GAR plans to acquire between 35,000 and 40,000 hectares of new concession areas, mostly located in Kalimantan. By year-end, it hopes to have up to 503,400 hectares of plantation areas, including plasma, 8.6 percent higher than 2012.

In its downstream division, the firm is expanding the capacity of its North Sumatra refineries and expects to produce 2.6 million tons of refined products in 2013, up 30 percent from the previous year.

GAR, which is 49.9 percent owned by the family of tycoon Eka Tjipta Widjaja through investment company Flambo International Limited, operates in Indonesia and China. In Indonesia, it owns and runs oil palm plantations, mills, refineries and also produces palm oil derivative products, such as cooking oil, margarine and shortening. In China, it owns and operates crushing and refinery facilities, and manufactures refined edible oil and food products.


In a bid to strengthen its position in the domestic petrochemical market, Indonesia’s state-owned energy firm PT Pertamina decided this week to team up with PTT Global Chemical, a subsidiary of Thailand’s oil and gas company PTT Pcl, for a US$5 billion petrochemical complex.

Pertamina president director Karen Agustiawan said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post recently that the country’s most valuable state-owned firm would sign the agreement with PTT Global Chemical in April this year.

In addition, she said, Pertamina wanted to establish a new joint venture to focus on the petrochemical business with the Thai firm by the end of December this year.

“PTT Global Chemical has a global reputation in the petrochemical business,” acknowledged Karen.

“The newly-formed partnership aims to not only build a petrochemical complex but will also include market and research activities to [ensure the production of] high-quality products that capture the market share of the petrochemical business in Indonesia and Asia.”

In mid-December 2012, Pertamina signed preliminary agreements with three foreign companies: South Korea-based SK Group’s subsidiary SK Global Chemical, Japan’s Mitsubishi and PTT Global Chemical before ultimately choosing the latter to build the integrated petrochemical facility.

Tokyo rose 1.16 percent, adding 141.53 points to hit a four-and-a-half-year high of 12,381.19, Seoul gained 0.12 percent, or 2.40 points, to 2,002.13 while Sydney lost 1.18 percent, or 60.2 points, to end at 5,032.2.

Hong Kong added 0.28 percent, or 62.53 points, to 22,619.18 while Shanghai closed up 0.28 percent, or 6.31 points, to 2,270.28.

– Wellington rose 0.92 percent, or 39.95 points, to 4,381.10.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was 3.4 percent higher at NZ$2.71, while Fletcher Building added 2.4 percent to NZ$9.15.

– Manila closed 1.21 percent lower, shedding 81.85 points to 6,694.71.

Ayala Corp. fell 1.61 percent to 550 pesos, SM Investments dropped 2.09 percent to 1,075 pesos and Philippine Long Distance Telephone was off 3.64 percent at 2,860 pesos.

– Taipei lost 0.55 percent, or 43.75 points, to 7,951.76.

Leading integrated circuit chip design house MediaTek shed 2.7 percent to Tw$343.0 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. was 0.48 percent lower at Tw$104.0.

– Jakarta fell 1.01 percent, or 49.07 points, to 4,786.37.

Miner Aneka Tambang lost 1.52 percent to 1,300 rupiah, Hero Supermarket slipped 4.72 percent to 5,050 rupiah, while Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper rose 2.2 percent to 930 rupiah.

– Singapore dropped 0.27 percent, or 9.02 points, to 3,279.50.

United Overseas Bank gained 0.41 percent to Sg$19.71 while real estate developer City Developments lost 0.80 percent to Sg$11.17.

– Bangkok added 0.51 percent, or 8.09 points, to 1,586.79.

Hospital operator Bangkok Dusit Medical Services jumped 4.27 percent to 171 baht, while telecoms company Advanced Info Service lost 2.53 percent to 231 baht.

– Kuala Lumpur shed 0.33 percent, or 5.48 points, to 1,640.74.

British American Tobacco fell 4.4 percent to 59.88 ringgit while UEM Land Holdings gained 3.2 percent to 2.56 ringgit.

– Mumbai added 1.07 percent, or 207.89 points, to 19,570.44.

Software outsourcing giant TCS closed up 1.15 percent at 1,567.85 rupees and Tata Motors crept up 0.05 percent to 300.95 rupees.

Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.
Economist/Hedge Fund Manager

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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