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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                        31  August 2011

SCG expands in Asean

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Thailand's top industrial conglomerate, Siam Cement Pcl (SCG), will bid for two Indonesian petrochemical assets worth an estimated US$1.1 billion, the company said on Tuesday, as part of a Southeast Asia expansion drive.

The deals are set to be another indication of increasing foreign interest in Southeast Asia's biggest economy, which is attracting investors because of strong economic growth and a buoyant stock market.

Siam Cement, 30 percent owned by the Thai royal family's Crown Property Bureau, said it was interested in PT Sulfindo Adiusaha, an Indonesian chemical producer controlled by Indonesia's Tanojo family.

South Korea's Hanwha Chemical Corp may also bid for Sulfindo Adiusaha, sources with knowledge of the deal said recently.

Sulfindo's owners, the Tanojo-controlled Victoria Group, are seeking to sell the whole company for about $700 million. Separately, Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd is trying to sell its 23 percent stake in PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical Tbk in a deal worth an estimated $400 million, two sources with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters recently.

"We are interested in both petrochemical firms in Indonesia...details of the deals cannot be disclosed at this point because they are quite big deals," Siam Cement Chief Executive Kan Trakulhoon told reporters on Tuesday.

Thailand's top energy firm, state-controlled PTT Pcl is also keen to buy a stake in Chandra Asri, an industry source said last week, possibly through its PTT Chemical Pcl unit.

Siam Cement and PTT group have aggressively scouted for opportunities for assets overseas, especially in Southeast Asia.


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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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