Acquisitions, roadshows and joint ventures aim to keep the economy buoyant
While it is easy to find the gloomy results of Thailand’s 2015 economic numbers, there are, of course, positive news stories emanating from a variety of marketplaces which can help counter-balance what may be generally perceived to be a rather bleak economic landscape.
At the beginning of September, the management of the chemical and equipment supplier UAC Global PLC (UAC) announced the company was looking to acquire at least one renewable energy business before the end of the year.
The primary aim of any acquisition is to balance UAC’s revenues equally from its trading and manufacturing arms.
According to UAC’s managing director, “This acquisition will help us balance our revenue port and expand our customer base into neighbouring countries, particularly Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. We also expect that it will drive our growth Significantly.” 
UAC is aiming to reach a revenue target of 1.5 billion baht this year, having already notched up revenues of 766.48 million baht in the first six months of 2015. From this, 25.51 million baht was net profit. These figures were extremely good with revenue up almost 36 percent from the same period in 2014 and profit grew nearly 38 percent on the 2014 figures.
Part of the reason for the quite significant jump in its numbers comes from its acquisition of APC in January this year and the start of its solar and gas power plants.
Roadshow aims at foreign institutional investors
Between 7 and 11 September, Muangthai Leasing PCL (MTLS) and CIMB Thai Bank staged a series of roadshows in London, up in Scotland and then Paris in an attempt at attracting foreign institutional investors.
While the management of both companies recognise the global economic situation and Thailand’s overall poor performance is hardly conducive to attracting much in the way of foreign investment, they also believe a roadshow of this type would at least be valuable for the future. That is, by showing how there are sectors within the current Thai economic environment which are doing well, they can plant the seeds in the minds of foreign institutional investors that Thailand remains a potentially profitable destination for their investments.
A recent roadshow held in Singapore and Hong Kong had led to the proportion of foreign financial institutions investing in the companies up from 0.5 percent to two percent. 
MTLS management has targeted a revenue increase of more than 50 percent from 2014 while it expects net profit will also grow more than 50 percent, up from the 544 million baht it made last year. Part of the reason for this optimism is based on the fact it will open 80 new branches in the second half of this year and 600 additional branches across the country by the end of 2017.
The joint ventures keep on coming
CAT Telecom Plc has contracted to establish a 50:50 joint venture with the hypermarket-chain retail operator Tesco Lotus to provide mobile-phone services on the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) basis. 
According to senior management, CAT will lease its 850-megahertz network to the joint venture and Tesco Lotus, for its part, will develop a SIM-card distribution channel, offer cellular services and do a marketing plan and the launch will take place in 2016.
The service will be targeting the three million holders of the Tesco Clubcard in Thailand. The joint venture will be effective 2025 when until CAT’s telecom licence expires.
At the same time, Tesco Lotus will be opening its second regional distribution centre, in Surat Thani province, at the end of September. The company also expects to open a further 50 Tesco Lotus Express stores as well as five large-format outlets by the end of 2015. 
Apart from Tesco Lotus, CAT presently has three other MVNO partners: Real Move and True Move H Universal Communication of True Corp; 168 Communication and Data CDMA.
Unnamed Thai hospital looks to a joint venture with Japanese insurer
The Thai-based division of the Japanese insurer Tokio Marine is reported to have been approached by an unnamed Thai hospital to co-invest in a nursing-home business which would cater for wealthy elderly people.
Thailand has, like Japan, an ageing population and the office of Tokio Marine (Thailand) has forwarded the proposal to its parent company, Tokio Marine Holdings, for consideration.
The Thai hospital owner reportedly wants to use the Tokio Marine logo because the Japanese company has a long record of operating nursing homes in Japan.  The owner plans to target both rich Thais and those wealthy Japanese who move to Thailand after their retirement.
Tokio Marine (Thailand) believes the marketplace for nursing homes in Thailand will be very strong within the next five years.
The median age in Thailand has increased from 24.6 years in 1990 and 29.3 in 2000 to 36.9 years in 2013 while the potential support ratio which stood at 10 youths to one elder in 1980 was down to seven youths to one elder by 2000.
Offshore joint venture augurs well for local firm
The Thailand-based pharmaceutical company Mega Lifesciences Ltd (MEGA) has announced plans to set up a production plant in Indonesia with Sydna Farma.
The Thai company will control over 50 percent of the venture and aims to spend the equivalent of US$1 million by 2017.
The Indonesian pharmaceutical market is estimated to be around US$6.24 billion and is the largest in ASEAN, with a growth rate of 12.5 percent annually.
MEGA registered revenues of 7.77 billion baht in 2014, with a net profit of almost 548 million baht. The company is aiming to increase its net profit by 10 percent this year. More than 70 percent of its revenue comes from exports.
It aims to double its revenue and profit by 2020 on the back of aggressive expansion in ASEAN and into parts of Africa where it believes the lack of good quality food and medicines presents a great opportunity.