WHA eyes expansion into Asean, Myanmar

Stock Exchange of Thailand-listed WHA Corporation will set up fully integrated models in its four core businesses to meet expanding investment in ASEAN, though Myanmar investment will depend on the final election result.

The company has restructured its operation over the past year to increase its efficiency, compete better internationally and meet rising demand, said Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, chief executive and vice-chairman of Thailand’s largest developer of built-to-suit logistics facilities.

It has classified its businesses into four core groups: logistics, industry, utilities and power, and information technology.

“WHA plans to expand the four businesses both domestically and internationally,” Ms Jareeporn said. “We intend to be the leader in all four businesses.”

Its utilities and power business is expected to be listed on Thailand’s stock exchange soon, with an initial public offering expected in the second half of next year.

The company is investing in coal-fired power in Indonesia, hoping to become an independent power producer.

It also wants to focus on renewable energy such as wind farms, biomass, biogas and solar rooftops.

“WHA plans to invest mostly in green energy via mergers and acquisitions both in Thailand and abroad,” Ms Jareeporn said.

“We’re in talks with about 10 companies in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines about possible joint ventures. However, we plan to invest conservatively.”

She said WHA also hoped to expand into the industrial estate sectors of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

“But for Myanmar, we’ll have to wait and see a clear direction after [the November 8] election before taking any action,” Ms Jareeporn said.

WHA also plans to expand its eight industrial estates in Thailand to meet rising demand from industrial clusters.

Chief financial officer Arttavit Chalermsaphayakorn said the company would spend 6 billion baht of its investment budget by next year.

However, WHA expects revenue will miss the earlier target of 18 billion baht due to the weak economic outlook. Revenue is now forecast at 11-12 billion baht this year.

Source: Myanmar Times

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