Time for some rants and random thoughts.
If you’ve been walking around the 3S’s (that’s my acronym for sukhumvit, silom and sathorn) during Wednesday-Friday this week (a few weeks ago) you’d think that Bangkok is dead quiet and that there is no economic activity occurring.
This just led to me thinking that we’re seeing that a small portion of the population spending money and that the capital moves during the work week and holidays. During a non-holiday period the 3S’s will do well, during holidays’, anything within 300 km of BKK does well and that the spending is concentrated within a few popular destinations, hotels, restaurants and is far from being widespread.
So what? More for market share for the big boys.
SCB and Bitkub
Now I thought the price movements in KUB coin and then with SCB was an indicator that perhaps the deal would go ahead by the end of June. This hasn’t proven to be the case and there’s been several articles in both English and Thai released since.
The company’s official release
This was a deal supposed to be finished by 1Q22, and now there is no deadline.
I think that the Thai article is far more interesting (accuracy is a different question)
Now Bitkub has admitted to, basically, being crooks. Fake market volumes, potentially manipulating prices etc etc.
Why is it that Arthid loves to make deals with dodgy/suspect companies/deals? See PACE, ITD, oh basically everything he’s been a part of since he become the boss of SCB. And what is the board of SCB doing? They have a CEO that is, in my opinion, single-handedly responsible for f#@king up SCB. Remember this was the best performing bank under K. Kannikar – (though it can be argued that even a donkey would’ve done well during that economic period for Thailand – and on the flip side – to those that make that argument I say look at Thai Military Bank). So back to the Board, what the hell are they doing? Everyone in the market knows the rumours about Arthid, anyone in a senior position knows the rumours (and may have facts) about Arthid, is the board really that blind? Or does Arthid have “dirt” other board members? Then one should ask, are the major shareholders happy with the results of this board?
Note: I have a bias, I worked there, had one or two heated discussions w/ him in the past.
Second Note: To avoid defamation lawsuits, I’m referring to actual physical dirt😛
Discussions with my entrepreneurial friends have provided the following insights.
Apartments that cater to tenants that rent for 5-7k/month are filling up – indicates that the workforce is returning to BKK.
Service staff are needed everywhere, “paying more for mediocre staff who have less loyalty,” I piqued whether hiring less qualified people for is a form of pricing power for the employee.
The government seems to be dead set on the KPI of # tourism travelers.
I do wonder whether all those Chinese tourists actually had a positive net result on the country. We all remember the zero-dollar tours where effectively no money was kept in Thailand. What was the actual net positive $ impact of the mass amount of Chinese tourists on the country? Or could it have been a net deficit/cost given the strain on the infrastructure?
When you talk with the publicly listed hotel players, i.e. erawan and veranda they commented that ~10% of revenue/rooms came from Chinese tourists, for Centel it was higher close to 30%, for MINT (I don’t remember from memory).
So what? I contend that the country doesn’t need to reach 40 mn to return to it’s tourism receipts. How much lower could it be? No idea but if it reaches a run rate of 1 mn tourists per month (which I presume i will be by August/September) then despite it be -70% from 2019 levels. With some, pulling my fingers out of my backside estimates, in net spending terms it is -55%, and you can simple scale up the figures from there (assume non-Chinese tourists are back to 22 mn, and no mainlanders = -25% rev loss versus -40% figures drop). And if the TAT can get its head of out its ass and realise that there is a country called India where there is a burgeoning middle class, et voila, magic, tourism spending increases.
The Thai Lottery
History of the lottery system globally, begun I believe in Belgium, when the government at the time needed to figure out a way to raise capital to fund infrastructure projects.
Now what’s interesting for Thailand is that thanks to Pao Tang and the “digital revolution” is that lottery tickets that were sold on the streets at 100 baht (where apparently the 20 baht was supposed to pay for those folks doing the sales (really?)). Now having bought a lottery tickets on 2 occasions in Bangkok, I was fortunate enough to having winnings one time. I had no idea what to do and a team member of mine said there was “a place” you could bring the ticket to and they’ll give you the cash for it and keep 100 baht (from a 4k winning).
So with this digital lottery system that government has just wiped out 2 industries domestically that most likely made a group of 20 people very wealthy and hired a couple thousand others. Now I don’t have the details on how many lottery tickets were sold in the past, but one can presume that this lottery system will allow the couple to issue an extra 1 million or so tickets thereby raising an additional THB 80mn.
So what? Is this a net benefit? I’d argue yes for the country’s P&L – the overall figure is low, but add this up over the years and it’s significant.