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Vol. XIV No. 52
Friday December 29 - January 4, 2007


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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

Thai steel demand likely to resume growth next year

Honda to move piston rod manufacturing base to Thailand

Nokia wins USD110 million network expansion contract with DTAC Thailand

Winners of the Thailand Property Awards 2006 announced

Thai steel demand likely to resume growth next year

Thailand’s steel demand is expected to grow by 7-8 per cent to around 13-14 million tonnes next year following sluggishness this year, according to the Kasikorn Research Centre.
The leading think tank said the global steel market had fluctuated heavily in the past few years with product prices moving sharply up and down during 2004-2005 due to an imbalance in the demand and supply.
Additionally, heavy speculation and hoarding amid the volatility of prices had had an impact on the country’s steel industry.
This year, the global steel market has been active, but rather stable, while the Thai market has been sluggish due to negative impacts from both economic and political woes.
Thailand’s demand for steel this year dropped to 12-13 million tonnes from 13.8 million tonnes last year.
Steel’s industrial output index had been rather volatile and weakened in the first ten months of this year. It had dropped to an average of 138.7 in October from 150.1 in 2005.
However, KRC projected that the local steel industry would pick up next year as the Thai economy is expected to continue to expand.
In particular, the property and construction sectors are forecast to recover as a result of the government’s move to accelerate spending on basic infrastructure. In addition, the steel demand in related industries such as automobile manufacturing and automotive parts, as well as in electrical appliances, and canned foods, continues to increase.
The strengthening of the baht is also expected to ease the costs of production by entrepreneurs in the kingdom, who currently must import slab and billet steel for production.
At present, the price of raw steel has increased on par with that of ore in the global market. (TNA)

Honda to move piston rod manufacturing base to Thailand

Japanese automaker Honda plans to move its piston rod manufacturing base to Thailand next year, according to Tatsuhiro Oyama, President & CEO of Asian Honda Motor Co Ltd.
Mr. Oyama disclosed that the company will relocate its piston manufacturing base to the kingdom in mid-2007, with an investment of over Bt1.1 billion (US$30.8 million).
Honda’s decision reflects their high confidence in the Thai economy and affirms that Thailand is a car manufacturing and exporting centre of the Asia-Oceania region, he said.
Moreover, he said, Honda is interested in taking part in Thailand’s project of producing energy-saving cars as it falls in line with Honda’s priority in reducing environmental problems caused by carbon emissions and promoting energy saving technology.
The company’s operation results in Asia and Oceania in 2006 showed that Honda exported 9.3 million motorcycles and 320,000 cars, serving nearly 10 million clients, which is nearly half - 46 per cent - of its of 23 million clients worldwide. (TNA)

Nokia wins USD110 million network expansion contract with DTAC Thailand

Espoo, Finland - Nokia and Thai operator, Total Access Communication PLC (DTAC), have signed a network expansion contract, valued at approximately USD 110 million. Nokia’s GSM/EDGE radio and core network solutions and services will improve DTAC’s network coverage and capacity, enabling DTAC to provide enhanced services to its subscribers. Nokia will continue as the sole supplier.
“With the industry-leading solutions and technologies provided by Nokia, we will be able to enhance our coverage by up to 50% and provide high network quality and the latest applications and services to our customers,” said Sigve Brekke, Chief Executive Officer, DTAC. “Moreover, we plan to increase our EDGE coverage to nationwide in 2007, which will strengthen our market position by enabling us to offer not only the best quality for voice but also the most advanced data and multimedia services.”
Total Access Communications PLC (DTAC) is Thailand’s second largest cell-phone operator, providing mobile phone and network services in Bangkok and all other 75 provinces nationwide. DTAC currently has over 11 million subscribers, representing around 30% share of the market. The company is the first operator in Thailand that deployed high-speed GPRS and EGDE technologies on its network to accommodate increasing demand of data services. (Nokia)

Winners of the Thailand Property Awards 2006 announced

The award winners at the gala dinner pose for a group photo.

Ensign Media
The winners of the inaugural Thailand Property Awards were announced December 14 at a lavish gala dinner held at JW Marriott on Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok. The awards ceremony and gala dinner was attended by over 200 distinguished guests from a variety of sectors in the real estate industry including developers, agents, architects, interior designers and real estate associations and organizations.
The nine award categories included Best Agent, Best Architect, Best Condo Development, Best Developer, Best Interior Designer, Best Real Estate Website, Best Villa Development, Green Development and Real Estate Personality of the Year.
Professor Manop Bongsatad, Chairman of the panel of independent judges, in his speech said: “Our main criterion was that we would make a judgement based solely on the application received and not assume prior knowledge of the candidate business. We feel that this was the only fair way to make a judgement, as it would not have been feasible to make site visits to all the businesses concerned. In all cases though, we are confident that all the winners represent a level of excellence and high achievement in their respective fields and are worthy recipients of their awards.”
The first year proved the need for a professional awards system for the industry, and was well received by all in the industry. In order to ensure fair judging, a panel of independent judges was created and each award had it’s own set of criteria for judging. Following an extravagant dinner, the award winners were announced: Best Agent - Samui Villas and Homes (sponsored by Raimon Land); Best Architect - Original Vision Ltd for Samsara (sponsored by Gaggenau); Best Condo Development - TCC Capital Land for Athenee Residence; Best Developer - TCC Capital Land Limited (sponsored by Indigo Real Estate); Best Interior Designer - Laguna Resorts & Hotels PLC; Best Real Estate Website - Northpoint (www. from Raimon Land PLC; Best Villa Development - Phuket Prime Property Ltd for Baan Yamu and Dhevatara Properties Co. Ltd for Dhevatara Cove; Green Development - Laguna Resorts & Hotels PLC.
The Real Estate Personality of the Year was selected by Ensign Media, the publishers of Property Report Thailand magazine and organizers of the Thailand Property Awards. Editor, Karla Cripps, presented the award to Mr. Nigel Cornick, CEO Raimon Land PLC, and commented;
“Being successful in an industry as uncertain and competitive as real estate requires an individual with a unique combination of abilities. They must be able to handle the daily pressures of staying afloat in a climate vulnerable to an endless number of factors with flair, which means they need to possess extensive experience and knowledge of local industry practices and the market. We feel this year’s inaugural winner of the Real Estate Personality of the Year Award embodies all these qualities, and is certainly no stranger to the public eye.”
The winners reflect the high quality of real estate development throughout the country, with a mix from Bangkok, Phuket, Samui and Pattaya. One of the most popular award categories, Best Villa Development, saw a tie between Dhevatara Cove in Samui, and Baan Yamu in Phuket. Other notable winners were TCC Capital Land, taking two awards (Best Developer and Best Condo Development) and Laguna Resorts & Hotels PLC who also took two awards (Green Development and Best Interior Designer).
The most popular award, Best Real Estate Website, was claimed by Raimon Land for their Northpoint project in Pattaya (www.northpoint, while CEO Nigel Cornick was awarded Real Estate Personality of the Year.
To finish the night, an auction was held to raise money for the Children of the Forest charity (www. A variety of gifts were auctioned including two nights at The Nam Hai in Vietnam, two nights in a Banyan Tree Pool Villa in Phuket and a luxury day cruise in Krabi provided by Maan Tawan Cruises. The auction proved popular, and along with some very generous donations from attendees, raised 500,000THB.
In conclusion, Duncan Worthington, Managing Director of Ensign Media, organizers of the awards, added: “We are pleased to see so many in the industry taking part in the awards and the gala dinner. We are looking forward to next year and hope to welcome even more applicants. We are also considering adding more award categories in 2007.”

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