Asia’s first ‘3-D
factory’ eyes banking industry
Three-D Animation said it has invested more than Baht
30 million in establishing the first ‘3-D factory’ in Asia here,
eyeing commercial banks as prime customers. Banks have been interested in
making 3-D ATM cards. The new facility, with the capability to produce up
to 100,000 pieces of 3-dimension pictures and other forms of computer
graphics a day, will also serve the advertising industry.
The company will spend up to Baht 80 million more in
expanding the ‘3-D factory’ later this year, said Yaowadee Leelalak,
marketing manager of Three-D Animation Co. Amongst the company’s
customers are the AGV and Imax movie theater chains. Three-D Animation is
preparing to produce 3-D movie tickets for the two chains, she said.
The company’s products have a 30% share of the
souvenir and gifts markets, while enjoying a 50% share of the outdoor
A grand opening ceremony is planned for early September; Three-D
Animation then plans to participate in AD Asia 99 in Pattaya in November.
ICC launches St Andrew
ICC International Co. of Saha Group recently launched a
new child-care line of products under the brand name ‘St Andrew’. The
company hopes to tap into this huge market segment which has been under
the control of foreign brand products. Adding to the bottles is Pooh the
bear, to parallel Disney’s Little Mermaid cartoon in the same line of
products by Colgate-Palmolive.
St Andrew products for children, especially those from
three to ten years of age, include shampoo, liquid soap, and talcum
powder. ICC products will compete directly with Johnson and Johnson, which
is the market leader, Colgate-Palmolive, and Lion (Thailand), said
Colgate-Palmolive recently launched a new shampoo and
liquid soap with the Little Mermaid on the bottles. J&J products
control 28% of the baby shampoo market, while shampoos by
Colgate-Palmolive and Lion (Thailand), each share 20% of the market.
Competition is expected to heat up again in the second half this year.
Orient Thai puts off
domestic service plan
Privately owned Orient Thai Airline Co. has scrapped
its plan to restart its domestic service after only 4 routes, from a total
of 10 applied for, have been approved by the department of aviation. Only
unprofitable routes, with high competition, were approved.
The company is going back to Cambodia, where it partly
owns Kampuchea Airlines, to develop its international chartered flight
services. The airline will, however, keep its Thai flying license, even
though it spent Baht 300 million in its domestic flying service here,
which turned unsuccessful.
Udom Tantiprasongchai, managing director of Orient Thai
Airline, said Kampuchea Airlines has been appointed by the United Nations
to transport displaced Kosovo people from Australia back to their
Negotiations have been underway with authorities in
Mostadonia, an autonomous region which borders Kosovo, for a US$10-million
turnkey airport construction project there.
Orient Thai Airlines, which flew domestic flights 5 to 6 years ago,
might come back again when the airline industry is truly liberalized in
Thailand, Udom said.
mill project gets big boost
The Department of Royal Forests is prepared to sign a
memorandum of understanding with a Chinese investment group next week to
lease 200,000 rai of land in the east and the northeast for a eucalyptus
tree plantation. The land lease is the key to implementing the
US$1-billion paper mill project here, said Plodprasob Suraswadee,
The signing ceremony will take place during an official
visit by China’s president Jiang Ze Min next week, Plodprasob said. The
Chinese company, which at a later time would form a Chinese-Thai
consortium to run the project, will also reforest about 100,000 rai of
deforested land for the Thai government as a compliment, he said.
Much more eucalyptus wood will also be supplied by
local farmers in about another 300,000 rai of land under a contracted
The paper mill, boasted to be one of the largest in Asia, will produce
newsprint and paper sheets for industries. The paper mill is said to be
the largest investment project outside China by a Chinese group.
Dutch bank takes
over Thai Capital
Rabo Bank of the Netherlands has offered a Baht
2-billion bailout deal to take over the ailing Thai Capital Finance. The
deal has made for a narrow escape for the Thai finance house, which is
among two or three finance firms reported to face closure by the ministry
of finance because of inadequate funds, said a ministry source.
The bailout agreement was recently signed between the
two sides, said the source. The Netherlands-based bank, which will own
100% in Thai Capital Finance, will inject fresh capital into the firm this
September, the first lot among a few others, in a Baht 2-billion
re-capitalization package, said the source.
Thai Capital is expected to raise enough funds set
aside for its reserve under the re-capitalization plan to be completed in
December this year.
The finance house, which is partly owned by the ailing
Wattachak group, is expected to be among the best small-sized finance
houses after the re-capitalization.
Note: Only Thai Samut Finance will be closed after its
re-capitalization plan failed to get approval, while those of SG Asia
Capital and Thaksin Thanakij get the green light from the Bank of
officially launch Office 2000 next month
Microsoft (Thailand) will officially introduce the
Office 2000 business software in Thailand on September 24. The company has
enjoyed 44% growth during the 1998-1999 fiscal year which ended June 30,
in spite of the high rate of copyright violations in Thailand, said
Peerapong Eusunthornwattana, managing director.
Though details are yet to be disclosed, Microsoft
Office 2000 Thai version will be launched next month, Peerapong said.
Sales of Office 95 and Office 97 packages have constituted more than 60%
of the overall revenue, after Microsoft Thailand had offered the software
to ministries and government agencies at a low price, 20% to 40% from the
market price, he said.
Notes: The software piracy rate declined only 2% despite tough actions.
Microsoft (Thailand) recently launched a new organization administration
solution package for 2000 under the ‘Knowledge Management’ concept
containing more than 17 applications.
Video Ezy plans
ambitious expansion drive
The Australian video rental chain Video Ezy plans to
expand, aiming to compete with the Tsutaya chain, which will have 60
branches this year, after less than a year in the business. Video Ezy has
opened 14 branches with more than 50,000 members over the past 5 months of
operation, said Sarin Sukseree, a manager.
The number of Video Ezy chain stores will reach 100 by
the end of 2000, Sarin said. There are already franchised stores, and
there will be more in the chain, Sarin said. With full service and support
technology from its Australian parent company, Video Ezy will no doubt be
able to match the Tsutaya chain in the business, Sarin said.
Many of the 70 video rental stores under the Video 5
Group have joined Video Ezy. The chain also has its eyes on privately
owned stores as potential business partners.
There will be no price cut to compete with the chain’s specialized
package rental system, as Video Ezy stores will be in major cities
nationwide with a one-price policy.
Copyright 1998 Pattaya Mail Publishing Co.Ltd.
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Updated by Chinnaporn Sangwanlek.