MBK aims to rev up investment
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MBK aims to rev up investment

Mr Suvait, left, and Mr Wichak reveal MBK's 2023 business plan at a press conference held on Tuesday.
Mr Suvait, left, and Mr Wichak reveal MBK's 2023 business plan at a press conference held on Tuesday.

After cutting back its investment for three years during the pandemic, MBK Plc, the operator of the MBK mall, plans to resume active investment this year.

According to Suvait Theeravachirakul, vice-chairman of the company's executive committee, of the total budget, 1 billion baht would be spent on renovating its Paradise shopping centre on Srinakarin Road, while 100-200 million baht would be used to modernise other shopping centres, including The Nine on Rama 9. The company would spend 200 million baht on renovations in the third phase of Prathumwan Princess Hotel, which is located near MBK.

The remaining 500 million baht would be used to purchase new plots of land for the future development of residential projects in provincial areas.

"We've resumed our active investment this year after seeing a good consumer confidence trend and the recovery of the tourism business," said Mr Suvait.

"More importantly, there are positive signs from foreign customers who have come back to use services at MBK shopping centre, hotels in both Bangkok and Krabi, and the golf clubs in Phuket."

He said having won the renewal of a lease contract from S.S. Real (Suanluang) Co for a period of 20 years, starting from August this year, the company has now started to renovate Paradise Park for the first time in 13 years by adding new anchors related to health and wellness such as a vegan restaurant, organic food, and a medical equipment centre to respond to an ageing society and to fit with changes in consumer behaviour as people are now more concerned about health due to the pandemic.

The renovation is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year. Moreover, The Nine Shopping Centre on Rama 9 would also be renovated, while ARTPIA, a Korean-based entertainment show, would also get underway on the sixth floor of MBK this year.

The company plans to launch Marina Plaza, an integrated centre for marine-related businesses, ranging from boating and boat registration, to boat insurance. It would also introduce "Chris Craft", a boat showroom at the Riverdale District project in Pathum Thani province in this year's second quarter.

According to Mr Suvait, the firm also plans to add new anchors at its Riverdale District project, with office buildings and hospitals also in the pipeline. The Riverdale District development project is set to be completed within 5-10 years.

In a related development, MBK appointed Wichak Praditavanij as its new president and chief executive, replacing Mr Suvait, effective early this month.

Mr Wichak will be tasked with handling day-to-day operations, seeking new business opportunities to invest, and developing synergy between businesses under MBK and partners, while Mr Suvait will now take charge of MBK's policy.

According to Mr Suvait, the firm expects its revenues to reach 11 billion baht this year, on par with the pre-pandemic level, up from 10 billion last year.

In part to support future growth, the firm is adjusting its business structure by establishing MBK Plc as a holding company. All restructuring will be completed by the end of this year.

MBK has eight business groups at present including a shopping centre, hotel, golf club, real estate, food, financial, auctions and a corporate support centre.

The move is to increase its competitiveness, open for new partners to join and list on the stock exchange as well as to build sustainable growth.

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