Welcome to the July BCF round-up, this month we look into China, ARIA Capital & CP Land’s push into the Thai property market and also at how Thailand is shopping its way to economic recovery!
Welcome to the Home Connect News. I’m Derren.
The attraction of shopping, especially in large, air-conditioned malls, a positive outlook on the telecommunications sector, and increasing Chinese interest in Thailand were among the key highlights of the past month.
Bangkok remains the centrepoint, but the imminent start of the Asean Economic Community means focus is also directed towards centres such as Chiang Rai, Tak, Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan and Songkhla.
Tourism has proven to be the mainstay of the economic ship during the first half of this year and the retail industry is banking on this trend continuing well past the 31 December start date for the AEC.
Although the export sector has contracted by almost four percent in the first quarter of this year, the bright spot has been the surge in tourist numbers.
These numbers mean it is no real surprise that leading retail firms are prepared to invest quite substantial sums in building shopping malls. Prime retail locations in Bangkok, such as Ratchaprasong, Siam Square and Sukhumvit, are being consistently transformed by the retail sector.
Retail developers are expecting to add around 250,000 square metres of shopping space in the capital by the end of 2017.
A survey by the Bangkok Post earlier this year revealed that at least two million square metres of retail space is under development in tourist cities and border locations, from shopping malls to cash-and-carry stores, and hypermarkets to community malls.
The main centres for this rapid expansion include Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, Rayong, Chonburi, and Mukdahan, as well as the city of Hat Yai in Songkhla province.
The telecom and technology-related company Forth Corporation has joined forces with Boon Rawd Brewery in a joint venture agreement to invest almost 200 million baht in the beverage-vending machine business. The machines will also be designed to permit users to top up phone credits and pay some bills.
Both companies acknowledge they may need to invest substantial sums over the coming years, the initial investment amount will be 200 million baht.
The tie-up with Boon Rawd Brewery is a win for the beverage distiller as it will increase that company’s distribution channels.
Over the last two years Thailand has watched as the Chinese have become one of the major foreign property investors in the country, with Colliers International Thailand recently claiming Chinese investors were the largest single group to pour money into Thailand in 2014. They were followed by investors from Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Colliers noted many Chinese preferred to join with a Thailand-based company or group and engage in a joint venture.
Bangkok is popular as an investment vehicle for the Chinese due to its continually expanding mass transit facilities and despite hefty price rises in land values the Chinese see prices as very competitive when compared with Hong Kong and Singapore.
According to CB Richard Ellis, many of their Chinese clients have invested in luxurious apartments in Thailand for use as second homes or as long-term investments.