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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        26  March 2011

Indo airport operator hopes to list on stock exchange

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State airport operator Angkasa Pura II is seriously considering holding an initial public offering this year as it seeks funds for expansion, its chief said on Friday.

His statement came on the heels of a call from State Enterprises Minister Mustafa Abubakar on Wednesday, saying Angkasa Pura II and state seaport operator Pelindo II should go public this year to speed up their expansion.

Pelindo II rejected the idea, saying on Thursday that it preferred to issue bonds and seek bank loans as an IPO would be too time-consuming, but Angkasa Pura II was on board with the minister.

"The current conditions demand that we carry out expansion immediately," president director Tri Sunoko said.

"We're considering all available options, and hopefully we can go public this year."

Before an IPO can take place, though, a state-owned company must first secure the approval of the government's privatization committee and the House of Representatives.

Angkasa Pura II, which operates 12 airports across the country, is in the process of expanding some of its airports. Its biggest project is the expansion of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, which has reached its capacity and must expand or relocate to accommodate rising traffic.

The country's top airport was designed to handle 18 million passengers annually, but the number of passengers coming through Soekarno-Hatta has reached 22 million per year.

Tri said that expanding its airports would require huge investment. "This year, our capital expenditure funds are Rp 2.48 trillion [$285.2 million], of which Rp 1.91 trillion will be used for expansion and Rp 578 billion for routine expenses," he said.

"We want to expand Soekarno-Hatta to reach a capacity of 65 million passengers annually by 2014 or 2015 because each year passengers grow by around 10 percent," he said.

"We're still completing the grand design for the airport. We hope the design can be finished next month," he added. He did not provide investment figures for the expansion, which will include adding a fourth terminal and a third runway.

The company's focus this year is finishing the development of Kualanamu Airport in Medan and expanding Minangkabau-Padang Airport in West Sumatra, he said.

Soekarno-Hatta's expansion is set for next year.

Angkasa Pura II has also discussed building new airports in Cilegon, Banten and Karawang, West Java. The surge in passengers helped Angkasa Pura II increase its net profit 30 percent last year to Rp 1.26 trillion last year, from Rp 970 billion in 2009.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

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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