Noble unfazed by potential wage hikes
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Noble unfazed by potential wage hikes

SET-listed Noble Development is unconcerned by the expected new government's pledges regarding minimum wage hikes as it has already included them in new cost estimates.

Thongchai Busrapan, Noble co-chief executive, said many developers have already priced in a minimum wage increase. The company is not concerned about an increase proposed by the prospective new government.

"When we call contractors to tender our new projects, they have anticipated that labour costs will rise," said Mr Thongchai.

The company has strategies in place to mitigate the severe impact of increasing construction costs by utilising alternative construction materials or technologies that reduce dependency on manual labour, he said.

Regarding foreign investment, Mr Thongchai said whoever forms the government, they will likely maintain a neutral stance and not implement policies that restrict foreign spending. This should not be an issue of concern, he said.

"Based on presales data from overseas buyers in the first quarter of 2023, the proportion of buyers from China was lower compared with previous years. This can be attributed to our wide distribution channels, which attract buyers from various countries and diversify our customer base," said Mr Thongchai.

In the first quarter of 2023, Noble tallied presales from overseas markets of 1.4 billion baht, growth of 79% year-on-year from 784 million baht. This was the second-best performing quarter in three years and accounted for 32% of 4.4 billion baht in total revenue for the period.

The largest foreign market was Taiwan with 43% of the total, followed by Myanmar with 26%. China came third, rising marginally to 13% because of limited flight capacity.

Traditional markets for Noble such as Hong Kong and Singapore made relatively smaller contributions, accounting for 6% and 3%, respectively.

However, the largest transfers among foreign customers were from the Chinese, who accounted for 49%, followed by Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong with 13%, 11% and 10%, respectively.

Noble recorded 1.23 billion baht in revenue from residential transfers in the first quarter of 2023, up 11% from the same period of last year.

Of the total, 183 million baht was from overseas transfers.

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