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Foreign investment to keep falling: Amata

Amata believes foreign investment will continue to decline the rest of the year, based on its selling barely 50 rai of land in its industrial estates in the first half.

CEO Viboon Kromadit yesterday said the company sold less than 1 rai in the second quarter, following 49.75 rai in the first quarter. That is much lower than its average quarterly sales of 200 rai last year.

This will force this year's sales to be a fraction of last year's, he said.

The company earned Bt1.19 billion on sales of Bt4.06 billion last year but only Bt67.12 million on sales of Bt587.1 million in this year's first quarter.

The biggest problem is the local political uncertainty, which makes customers delay their |decisions to build a plant in Thailand.

Most of them have shifted their sights from Thailand to Vietnam, so Amata's industrial estate in that country continues to generate rental-income growth of 5-10 per cent.

However, its business in Vietnam contributes only 10 per cent of company revenue, because sites there are offered as long leases. In Thailand, most of the land is sold to investors.

The company now has 10,000 rai of land for sale in two industrial estates in Thailand.

"Earlier, we expected to sell them within five years, from 2007-11. But now we believe that may extend past our forecast, because most investors have put their project plans on hold, due to both the global recession and Thailand's political uncertainty," he said.

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