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January 28, 2009

Thai coal miner plans $160m investment in 2009
Banpu Pplc, Thailand's top coal miner, said it planned to invest $160 million this year, mostly to develop existing mines in Indonesia, and might issue bonds to benefit from falling interest rates, reported Reuters.

About $110 million will be spent developing mines and another $50 million used for other projects including a power plant, chief executive Chanin Vongkusolkit told reporters on Tuesday.

"The budget this year should be about the same (as) last year's $150-160 million," he said.

Banpu, also the fourth-largest operator in Indonesia with five coal mines, may sell bonds to refinance debt to take advantage of lower interest rates," he said.

Last month, Chanin said Banpu was reviewing its 2009 business plan in line with changing economic conditions.

On Tuesday, Banpu shares closed up 4.6 percent at 230 baht, outperforming a 1.9 percent rise in the overall Thai stock market.

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