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IBAP Business Week is back
Tuesday 12 April 2011, 02:02AM
The International Business Association of Phuket (IBAP) Business Fair is back again this year with a large selection of exhibitors, events and shows. Events Thailand is joining forces with IBAP to organise what’s shaping up to be the biggest domestic business fair on the island this year. The fair offers local businesses a unique opportunity to showcase their products and services to an estimated 4,000-plus visitors for its duration. Events Thailand co-managing director Jorge De La Torre said the concept of the fair was for residents and tourists to learn about Phuket through its businesses. “The aim is for people in Phuket to come and discover what else Phuket has to offer throughout its various niche businesses,” he said. Events Thailand co-managing director Simon Samaan added “I think everyone can see that Phuket has grown substantially over the last decade or so. This has also neutrally translated into new industries, new products, services and businesses on the island – and not just hospitality related businesses either.’’ “Visitors to the show will be there to primarily look for new products and services, meet new suppliers and learn about new industries and business opportunities in Phuket, thus offering exhibitors the opportunity to showcase and sell their products and services to a “real targeted audience”. The show will take place at The Homeworks Centre in Phuket Town on July 30-31. For exhibiting opportunities please contact Events Thailand on, or 076 612 550 or 089 725 6994.  
Phuket property market 'still in good shape'
Saturday 9 April 2011, 03:21AM
Data released by the Govern­ment last Thursday indicates that the property market in Phuket is still in good shape, especially compared with other provinces in the country.The figures, released by the Government Housing Bank’s Real Estate Information Center (REIC), indicate that houses priced from one to five million baht are in demand, and that many property developers are still focusing on the budget market and condominium units.During a seminar entitled, “Analysis of Phuket’s housing market situation”, held at the Royal Phuket City Hotel, REIC Director Samma Kitsin said that Phuket is still a very good place for real estate investment.He offered the following numbers from REIC research: In the third quarter of 2010 there were 16,800 properties for sale on Phuket’s housing market: 8,750 properties in housing estate projects, 4,350 condominiums, 950 villas, and 2,750 properties in various National Housing Authority (NHA) projects aimed at poor people.The combined value of the private housing estate and condominium projects was B55.2 billion.By the end of February 2011, less than half that amount – B22.7 billion – was still on the market. Of the 950 villas, 400 have already been sold.The NHA properties have been selling even faster, with only 430 of the 2,750 properties still on the market.Houses popular on the Phuket market are one and two-story single houses, semi-detached houses, and town­houses priced between B1 million and B5 million.Mr Samma said that accord­ing to REIC research, factors that influenced the sale of a property included the devel­oper’s experience, a project’s location, pricing and design, and the facilities included.However, Phuket Property Association President Tanan Tanpaiboon said that Phuket’s housing market has been slow­ing down since the beginning of 2011, especially the high-end market tailored towards foreign customers.Mr Tanan said the continu­ing strength of the baht was the main cause of a 20- to 30-per-cent decrease in foreign customers.He said that Russian invest­ment in property was the only market showing growth.However, Mr Tanan did point out that ultra-luxury vil­las marketed to the super-rich are still doing well because demand in this sector depends more on satisfaction than on the economic climate.He also said the market for budget housing was still doing well.“The semi-detached houses prices between one and two million baht are popular among Thai people, especially people moving to work in Phuket who are looking to buy rather than rent.”Mr Tanan added that prop­erty developers now are starting to expand projects in the north of the island, and that areas in Phang Nga province are the next target for development and investment.
Intercon Group appoints new CEO
Friday 25 March 2011, 03:36AM
More cars for Phuket
Friday 25 March 2011, 01:56AM
Competition in the car market is set to increase after Mitsubishi opened a new dealership and Chevrolet Phuket launched its Cruze at Central Phuket Festival, both on March 21. Mitsubishi’s new Phuket Piya is located at Sapam, and is the second dealership on the island for the Japanese car manufacturer. Phuket Piya’s Managing Director, Bunpot Rataree, said the initial goal of the second dealership was to provide support to the first dealer and their customers. “At the first stage we are not aiming for numbers of sales. We would like to be another new garage providing good services and good quality cars for customers,” Mr Bunpot said. Mitsubishi has invested about B25 million in the new dealership, and used the opening to launch their new Lancer EX. Also on Monday, VST Autosales, the Phuket dealer for Chevrolet, launched the new Chevrolet Cruze at Central Phuket Festival, accompanied by a performance by Thai pop group Girly Berry. VST Managing Director, Kriangsak Jarunonwiwat, said he hoped the new Cruze would be able to take market share from similar cars, such as Toyota’s Altis and Honda’s Civic. “Since we have moved the showroom and launched many new products, we are confident that Chevrolet sales this year will reach our target of 700 cars from all categories,” he said. The American car manufacturer is currently fifth in Phuket in terms of vehicle sales. According to statistics from the Phuket Provincial Transportation Office, more than 235,000 motorcycles and 106,000 cars were registered in Phuket as of March 18.
Apple stockholders keep CEO succession plan private
Thursday 24 February 2011, 10:38PM
 Apple stockholders on Wednesday voted down a proposal that would have compelled the notoriously secretive technology star to reveal how it would handle the departure of chief executive Steve Jobs. Apple's board had recommended the proposal to be rejected at the annual meeting of shareholders at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, on the grounds it would give rivals inside information. The meeting was presided over by Apple chief operating officer Timothy Cook, who has been at the company's helm since January 17 when Jobs went on an indefinite leave of absence for medical reasons. Jobs, who turns 56 years old on Thursday, has reportedly been taking meetings at home, keeping in contact by phone and even visiting Apple's campus to remain involved with the company. Last month Jobs stepped aside, his third medical leave since 2004, but did not say how long he expected to be away or provide any details about his latest health issues. He underwent an operation for pancreatic cancer in 2004 and received a liver transplant in early 2009. He appeared gaunt but relatively healthy at recent Apple public events. Apple's fortunes have been uniquely linked to Jobs, who returned to the then flagging company in 1997 after a 12-year absence and introduced innovative and wildly successful products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Some analysts and investors have criticized Apple for not clearly outlining how it would replace Jobs if the need arises. A proposal by a pension fund holding Apple stock made it to the ballot and, if passed, would have required require Apple to lay bare its CEO succession plan. The shareholder meeting came on the same day that Apple sent out invitations to a March 2 press event in San Francisco at which the company is expected to unveil the second-generation iPad. Apple finished last year with a record quarterly net profit of $6 billion on an unprecedented $26.74 billion in revenue.
New 200-room hotel for Bang Tao
Thursday 24 February 2011, 07:03AM
Singapore-based Castlewood Hotels & Resorts has announced the launch of a new 200-key hotel project near Bang Tao Beach. Castlewood Group’s in-house hospitality brand, 8over8, will manage the new hotel, which will consist of 200 luxury suites and a private rooftop penthouse. Cornerstone Management has been retained to ensure timely delivery of the hotel. Two purchase options are available to investors; the first gives buyers a guaranteed return of five per cent for the first three years, then three percent for a further seven years. The second offers a return of five per cent for the first three years, then full revenue from the hotel’s rights of use policy for the following seven years. Chris Comer, Castlewood Group’s Managing Director for Southeast Asia, commented, “Our team here in Singapore are equipped with a wealth of experience in all types of real estate investment. We looked at various hotel investment models globally and researched as many success stories as we did failures. “It was apparent that there were real fundamental issues which had not been addressed when developing a lot of these hotels, especially those that were not so successful. One factor was the selection of the right location.  “This is fuelled by the three key factors: existing realistic occupancy rates, existing good average daily room rates and a solid reason for massive immediate growth in demand for the area with a feasible growth forecast, too. For us the area close to Laguna Phuket ticked all of those boxes.” Completion of the new hotel at Bang Tao Beach in Phuket is scheduled for 2013. Castlewood also recently announced plans to expand their hotel brand to Koh Samui.