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Oct 09. 2018
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Sulphur dioxide scrubbers will be installed on vessels of a major Thai container shipping |container company, to bring emissions in line with requirements of the International Maritime Organisation.

Regional Container Lines Public Co Ltd (RCL) recently co-signed a loan agreement worth US$6.5 million (Bt214 million) with the Export-Import Bank of Thailand to finance the installation. The move will also enhance the efficiency of the RCL’s containership fleet.


KBank first to launch bonds to finance green, social projects

KASIKORNBANK is the first bank in Thailand and the Asean bloc to launch sustainability bonds to finance green and social projects

The bonds issued under the programme are aimed at supporting the development of Thai and regional capital markets. They should also promote investments that generate returns in parallel with driving sustainable growth in Thailand and global communities.

KBank issued sustainability bonds totalling US$100 million (Bt3.3 billion) for foreign investors, making it the first bank in Thailand and Southeast Asia to offer such bonds.

The proceeds will be used to finance projects to bring about environmental and social benefits in accordance with international standards set up by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) and the Asean Capital Markets Forum (ACMF).

The sustainability bonds of KBank are senior, unsecured bonds with a floating interest rate based on LIBOR plus 0.95 per cent.

Under a five-year term, the maturity will be in 2023. The entire amount was offered to foreign institutional investors via KBank’s Hong Kong Branch.

Related parties include BNP Paribas, which acts as the sustainability bond framework structuring advisor and sole lead manager. Also, Sustianalytics – an independent global provider of ESG and corporate governance research – will provide a second party opinion on the sustainability bond framework.


Krungsri plans new service to help |customers open savings accounts online

Krungsri (Bank of Ayudhya) has a plan to launch a service for opening online savings accounts. The service would make it more convenient and easy for customers to apply as only a national ID card or a passport and Krungsri Mobile Application (KMA) are required. 

In addition, Krungsri is currently in the process of developing a new product based on electronic Know Your Customer technology (e-KYC), which will be rolled out by this year-end.


IFRS 9 to have credit neutral impact on APAC |banks’ credit profiles, says Moody’s

Moody’s Investors Service says that the implementation in Asia Pacific banking systems of the International Financial Reporting Standard 9 (IFRS 9) will have a credit neutral impact on banks’ credit profiles, because small reductions in capital ratios are offset by improved problem-loan coverage.

“The transition to IFRS 9 so far has resulted in average declines of 10 basis points in the banks’ common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratios, a very manageable outcome that is more modest than the impact on European banks,” said Eugene Tarzimanov, a Moody’s vice president and senior credit officer.

“In addition, credit provisions have increased at many APAC banks while impaired loans have remained unchanged, resulting in higher impaired loan coverage ratios and offsetting reductions in their capital buffers,” added Tarzimanov.

Moody’s conclusions are contained in its just-released report, “Banks – Asia Pacific: Capital Takes a Modest Hit Under IFRS 9 but Provisioning Improves”.

Developed systems are leading the way, with IFRS 9 having come into effect on January 1, 2018 in Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan, while implementation in Australia and New Zealand will be completed by the end of the year. Most emerging markets are set to follow in the coming years, with the exception of banks in Malaysia and the Philippines, which have already implemented the new standard.

Moody’s report covers the banking systems of Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.


AirAsia adds two new routes between Bangkok and India 

AirAsia is further connecting Thailand and India by flying direct Bangkok-Visakhapatnam four times a week (departing Don Mueang Airport every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) starting December 7, and Bangkok-Bhubaneswar three times weekly (departing Don Mueang Airport every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) starting December 6.

Santisuk Klongchaiya, CEO of Thai AirAsia, said that for the latter half of 2018 the airline plans to continually expand in the Indian market in light of its strong growth potential, and as Indian travellers are already the sixth-largest group to visit Thailand annually.

Visakhapatnam is a key port city that is undergoing notable growth and is the home of many world-class companies in the medicine, minerals and heavy industries. Bhubaneswar meanwhile is the capital of the state of Odisha and is well endowed with historical sites significant to the Buddhist faith, making it a prime destination for devout Buddhists. Known as the City of Temples, Bhubaneswar has also become a beacon for telecommunications and technological investment. 

Thai AirAsia currently flies direct from India to Bangkok on five routes – from Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Jaipur and Kochi. Between 80 and 90 per cent of passengers on the routes are Indian and they maintain a load factor average of 87 per cent. 


Chic plans IPO on MAI in this quarter 

Chic Republic (CHIC), the distributor of furniture, home decor, and house wares, and a standalone store under the brand “Chic Republic (CHIC) and “Rina Hey”, will launch an initial public offering (IPO) of 360 million shares in the Market for Alternative (MAI) in the current quarter. 

The proceeds will be used as working capital, investment in branch expansion and to repay debt to financial institutions. 

At present, CHIC’s paid-up capital stands at Bt500 million. After the IPO, its registered capital will be increased to Bt680 million with a par price of Bt0.50. 

It plans to launch five new branches in Thailand and abroad within the next five years, starting from this year. 

Of the five new branches, the Cambodia branch in Aeon Mall 2, Phnom Penh, is expected to be opened before the end of the year, the Ram Intra branch in 2019 and the Udon thani branch in 2020.

Currently it has four stand-alone outlets in Praditmanutham, Bang Na, Ratchapreuk branch, and Pattaya. 


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