News Column

AEC brokers move into the black

July 30, 2014

By Darana Chudasri, Bangkok Post, Thailand

July 30--AEC Securities expects to turn a profit this year on the back of brisk stock trading value and higher market share in the brokerage industry.

"We target to increase our market share in brokerage business to 2.5% and enlarge our network to 18 branches by the year-end," said chief executive Kobkiat Boontherawara.

The company, renamed from UOB Kay Hian Securities (Thailand), started full operations last October, posting a 2013 net loss of 40 million baht due to its investment in branches, information technology and human resources.

AEC Securities now has nine branches around the country.

Its market share stands at 2.1%, rising from 0.5% last year, as retail and institutional investors who contribute high trading volume in the local stock market are the company's main customers.

Mr Kobkiat expects brokerage business, which is contributing 70-80% of the company's revenue, will be the major driver to help the company swing to profit.

The positive market sentiment since political tensions eased has drawn investors to the bourse and given a boost to the Stock Exchange of Thailand's trading value.

The average trading value is expected to reach 50 billion baht a day in the second half of the year.

The improved stock market sentiment not only encourages the company's retail and institutional customers to increase their trading activities but also helps grow its margin loans.

The company has outstanding margin loans of 700-800 million baht that will likely reach 1.5 billion this year if the stock market's positive momentum continues.

AEC Securities has already won shareholder approval for a 1.5-billion-baht fund mobilisation plan, of which 600 million has been raised through debenture issuance. The securities firm plans to offer bills of exchange soon.

"We target the SET index reaching 1,760 points at year-end. Thai share prices are not regarded as too high even though the index has risen by 20% in the year to date, as the economy expects to see a V-shaped recovery," said head of strategy Kriengkri Tumnutud.

The company also expects its investment banking business will generate some revenue this year. It won a mandate to be involved in initial public offerings worth a combined 7-8 billion baht for four companies, two of which are expected to seek listings this year.

Mr Kobkiat said the company is applying for a licence to operate private fund business, expected to start operating by the final quarter.

"Private fund business will help us to be able to fill a marketing gap for customers who have high purchasing power," said the chief executive.

AEC Securities forecasts the country's gross domestic product will come in at 2.9% this year before rising to between 3.5% and 4% next year.

Four sectors _ property development, construction and building materials, hotels and tourism, automobiles, and consumer loans _ are expected to turn around next year.

The turnaround stocks include Siam City Cement (SCCC), Ananda Development (ANAN), Banpu (BANPU), AP (Thailand) (AP), Ch Karnchang (CK), Bangkok Land (BLAND), Thai Factory Development (TFD), PTG Energy (PTG) and Krungthai Card (KTC).


(c)2014 Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)

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Source: Bangkok Post (Thailand)

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