Industrial estate leader WHA foresees ‘very good’ year
Return of investors from China helping to drive land sales
published : 26 May 2023 at 17:45
writer: Bloomberg News
WHA Corp, the country’s largest industrial estate developer, expects a pickup in Chinese investors following the reopening of borders to sustain a surge in demand for land to set up new factories.
SET-listed WHA, which operates 12 industrial estates and four under development in Thailand and Vietnam, expects a “very good” year with sales of 1,200 to 1,300 rai of land in the first half, or nearly 75% of its full-year target of 1,750 rai, chief executive officer Jareeporn Jarukornsakul said at a briefing on Friday in Bangkok.
Most of the Chinese demand is coming from companies setting up units to manufacture electric vehicles, automobile parts and electronics, she said.
The country is benefiting from the end of Beijing’s Covid Zero policy, which has allowed companies to accelerate diversifying production bases outside of China and also led to the return of tourists in large numbers.
Inflows from tourism and foreign direct investment are the bright spots in an economy that has been slowed by falling exports and post-election uncertainty.
“We are benefiting from a major shift in global production bases out of China,” Ms Jareeporn said. “Our sales teams are working non-stop — even over the weekend.”
WHA reported a 52% increase in revenue from land and properties in the first quarter with land sales soaring to 487 rai from just 36 rai in the same period a year earlier.
The value of foreign investment applications more than doubled to 155.3 billion baht in the three months through March from a year ago, led by companies from South Korea, Singapore and China, according to the Board of Investment. Chinese firms sought to invest 25 billion baht during the period, up 87% from a year ago, BoI data showed.
“If the new government pays more attention and support to foreign direct investment, we should get more inflows,” Ms Jareeporn said.
WHA shares closed on Friday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 4.40 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 192 million baht.
- Industrial estates
- Board of Investment