WHA aims to attract more aerospace

WHA aims to attract more aerospace

SET-listed WHA Corporation Plc, Thailand's biggest developer of fully integrated logistics and industrial facilities, wants to draw aerospace investors to the company's estates in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

Chief executive Jareeporn Jarukornsakul said the government is upgrading the country's industrial sector in the three EEC provinces -- Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong -- affording an opportunity for the company to talk with several investors about buying land plots in WHA's industrial estates.

She said the aerospace sector in particular is attractive because it is one of 10 targeted industries classified as next-generation industries.

The 10 industries are cars; smart electronics; medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; food; robotics for industry; logistics and aviation; biofuels and biochemicals; digital; and medical.

"There are four tiers of supply chain for the aerospace sector, and Thai manufacturers are now at Tier 3 and Tier 4," Ms Jareeporn said. "WHA has two or three big-name investors who are interested in buying a plot of up to 300 rai to operate plants in the EEC."

WHA aims to disclose all deals by year-end.

Ms Jareeporn said Thai manufacturers are likely to be upgraded to Tier 2 parts suppliers for aerospace soon. Such an upgrade would be in line with the government's Thailand 4.0 initiative to develop a skilled workforce.

WHA's 2017 revenue is forecast at 13 billion baht, down 33% from last year. But Ms Jareeporn voiced confidence that land sales volume in 2017 would reach the target of 1,400 rai, due to the EEC project stimulating demand.

"WHA sold 584 rai of land in the first half," she said.

WHA has four business units, mainly for logistics warehouses, with more than 2.1 million square metres and nine industrial estates under Hemaraj Land and Development Plc.

Other units are WHA Utilities and Power Plc and digital platform WHA Infonite Co.

Ms Jareeporn said the company plans to merge WHA Premium Factory and Warehouse Freehold and Leasehold Property Fund (WHAPF) with WHA Premium Growth Real Estate Investment Trust (WHART) by November, making WHART the biggest REIT with 23 billion baht in assets.

WHA shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 3.46 baht, up 14 satang, in trade worth 982.8 million baht.

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