Strong baht pushes SCG Asean expansion

Strong baht pushes SCG Asean expansion
Published: 19 June 2007

The Siam Cement Group (SCG) will speed up its investment in Asean countries in order to take advantage of the currently strong baht against the US dollar, according to president Kan Trakulhoon.  
 
"The baht’s appreciation has a deep impact on us due to a large amount of export income. However, we can benefit slightly from the situation, even though the potential gains might not be comparable to the negative impact," he said. 
 
The country’s largest industrial group has increased its budget for overseas investment this year to 35 billion baht from 30 billion originally.  
 
Mr Kan said the group would expedite the investment to reap benefits from the baht’s appreciation, which enlarged the group’s investment abroad.  
 
Moreover, it is considering investing in more projects overseas, especially Vietnam and Indonesia, to tap their strong growth.  
 
The significant investment in the future would be the petrochemical complex in Vietnam, which will be comparable in terms of investment size to SCG’s complex in Rayong province, due to the abundance of feedstocks in the neighbouring country.  
 
"We are conducting a study on which may be concluded early next year since a lot of things have to be done. More talks with the project’s partner will also be held for more clarity," he said.  
 
SCG is also considering building a second CPAC roofing manufacturing plant in Hanoi since its first facility in Ho Chi Minh City is doing well.  
 
In the Philippines, where the group operates a paper plant, a new project is under negotiation. Although SCG prefers it to come in the form of a merger or acquisition, a joint venture with a local plant or a new project is also possible. 
 
Apart from the investment, marketing positioning is needed to build up the group’s corporate brand in those countries.