BEST SMALL CAP COMPANY
After the 2011 floods in Thailand, reinsurance companies were wiped out. Many have made no attempt to rebuild their businesses, but Thai Reinsurance is an exception.
“This is a company that had a sterling track record for the last 15 years. It was killed by the floods and so its ability to bounce back is very impressive, and it’s a testament not just to the company but the CEO, who at the bottom of despair had to raise money all over again,” said Andy Chan, head of Thailand research at CLSA.
The company has returned to profitability. Understandably it was not too keen to get back into the reinsurance business, so the model now focuses on consumer credit reinsurance and life reinsurance, including unemployment and health.
“This is a big growth area in Thailand and the company is pushing it forward,” said Chan.
In addition, Thai Reinsurance plans to list its wholly-owned subsidiary Thaire Life Assurance Public Company on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, according to a July 19 note on the stock exchange website. The proceeds of the IPO will go towards future business expansion.
“This will be well subscribed, this is a very interesting industry in Thailand and Thai Reinsurance is in the middle of it all,” says a Bangkok-based head of research at a securities firm.
BEST MEDIUM CAP COMPANY
Despite a good year for Thailand’s economy, few companies stood out in terms of truly innovative management development. However, LPN Development stands out for its reliably good performance.
“The company continues to do good work navigating a steady course, maintaining a strong brand and building good properties where it has done its homework. It consistently researches the market demand and matches the product with the demand correctly,” says a head of research in Bangkok.
LPN Development’s focus is on building and selling low- to mid-range condominiums (condos) in Bangkok. The company rebounded well from the flooding in 2011, and won Asiamoney’s award for the best small-cap company last year. Since then its assets under management have grown while its share price has risen, from THB18.40 at the start of the year to THB23.40 at the time of going to press.
The company reported a net profit of THB800 million (US$25.5 million) for the second quarter of 2013, up 440% year-on-year and 122% quarter-on-quarter. Condo revenue was THB4.2 billion for the second quarter, up by 310% year-on-year and 77% quarter-on-quarter.
Furthermore, the firm is likely to report much higher year-on-year earnings for the third quarter, according to Thai brokerage Bualuang Securities. The company is going from strength to strength.
BEST LARGE CAP COMPANY
“Siam cement is very impressive,” says CLSA’s Chan. His view was unanimous among the analysts that Asiamoney spoke to. Their praise focuses on the fact the company has long focused on a strategy that involves taking advantage of the entire Southeast Asian region.
“This is not something they only thought of last year because it was a hot theme; it’s something they have been planning and executing for a good five years. There has been the vision to look forward and see the importance of cross-border business and sourcing throughout the region,” says Chan.
The strategy is rewarding the company well. Siam Cement announced that its net income more than doubled in the second quarter to THB9.9 billion, or THB8.27 a share, from THB4.3 billion, or THB3.57 baht a year earlier.
It’s not done yet, either. In July, Siam Cement announced plans to acquire a company that makes roofing products across Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam. And it already has a footprint in Indonesia and Myanmar.
Furthermore, Siam Cement has managed to retain its position at the top of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, for the second year in a row, and is listed as the world sector leader in the building materials and fixtures sector.
“This is a global index, so it is very impressive for a Thai company or any company from emerging markets to able to achieve this,” said the researcher.
Kan Trakulhoon, CEO, Siam Cement
According to analysts, Kan Trakulhoon is much to thank for Siam Cement’s impressive expansion across Southeast Asia.
“The president of Siam Cement has continued the execution of his long-term vision for development. He is understated, but is a very effective team leader who has managed to create a collaborative environment that achieves good results,” said the Bangkok-based researcher.
He was made chief executive of Siam Cement in January, 2006 after working for the company for almost 30 years. When he took control from Chumpol NaLamlieng, he set aside large budgets for research and development in order to transform Siam Cement from a domestic player in the commodities space into a leading regional company.
“He is making a bunch of small acquisitions and investments. Each on its own is small but the combination signals huge growth. [The company] has the building blocks in place for 2015 to 2020. It is well ahead of its competitors in Thailand and is arguably the number one company across Southeast Asia,” says a Bangkok-based equity analyst at an international house.