Central Pattana to bid for Suan Lum site again

Funding will come from capital increase

Central Pattana Plc (CPN), the SET-listed retail developer, will bid to develop a retail complex on 88 rai owned by the Crown Property Bureau on the corner of Rama IV and Wireless roads.

Naris Cheyklin, the chief financial officer, said CPN is working on project details for submission to the CPB in August.

The company wants this to be a new tourism landmark for Bangkok but has not yet decided the project's size, he said.

This is part of the 127-rai vacant plot owned by the Crown Property Bureau as viewed from Rama IV Road. The CPB will auction off a long-term lease for a mixed-purpose projects at the site. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

"We're still interested in developing this prime land, but the project design may have to change in accordance with CPB interests," Mr Naris told the annual general shareholders' meeting on Friday.

In 2007, CPN won the bidding to develop 40 rai, part of a larger plot that housed the Suan Lum Night Bazaar.

But most of the tenants at the bazaar refused to move, and the development rights expired while the case went to court.

A court eventually ruled in favour of the CPB, and the final tenant left the site late last year.

Mr Naris said the plan will support CPN's goal of developing three or four new retail projects a year nationwide.

Funding will come from the company's capital increase plan, for which shareholders have already approved mobilisation of a few billion baht.

New shares will be sold to institutional investors, raising registered capital to 2.244 billion baht from 2.178 billion, with share par value halved to 50 satang.

CPN will continue to study opportunities to expand in Asean, mostly in member countries enjoying high economic growth.

Mr Naris said the company is aware of market circumstances, competition and risks arising from foreign businesses.

Thus, CPN has tasked a team of specialists with studying economic, social and political conditions, competition, laws and other risks in target countries.

"We want to be a leader in this region and will consider the risks in any markets we enter," said president Kobchai Chirathivat.

Mr Naris said CPN's focus remains on the domestic market.

The company plans to allocate 15 billion baht for three new projects already planned.

These include the 4.5-billion-baht CentralFestival Chiangmai, opening in November, and the 5.2-billion-baht CentralFestival Hatyai, which will open in December.

As well, the company will next week announce two more retail projects including one on Phutthamonthon Sai 5 Road in Bangkok.

Shares of CPN closed Friday on the SET at 100 baht, down two baht, in trade worth 206 million baht.

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About the author

Writer: Pitsinee Jitpleecheep
Position: Business Reporter