Aeon Thana Rises to Record on Lending Outlook: Bangkok Mover

Aeon Thana Sinsap (Thailand) Pcl (AEONTS), a Thai consumer loan unit of Japan’s biggest credit-card company, rose to a record in Bangkok stock trading on expectations an increase in wages and consumer spending will boost its lending.

The shares climbed 2.8 percent to 64.50 baht at the close in Bangkok, the highest level since the stock listed in 2001. It earlier gained as much as 8.4 percent. The benchmark SET Index rose 1.1 percent.

Aeon Thana, controlled by Japan’s Aeon Credit Service Co. (8570), joins rivals such as Krungthai Card Pcl (KTC) and Siam Commercial Bank Pcl (SCB) in expanding loans to individual borrowers as higher wages and salaries spur domestic spending on cars, motorcycles and other consumer products. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra plans to increase the daily minimum wage by as much as 35 percent to 300 baht ($9.8) in 70 of 77 provinces in 2013 to meet her election pledge to boost workers’ earnings.

“Aeon Thana will have strong earnings growth in 2013 as higher income of its biggest customer base will certainly spur new lending,” Usanee Liurut, an analyst at Asia Plus Securities Pcl in Bangkok, said by phone today. “The company’s expansion in neighboring countries also demonstrates a good strategy in tapping overseas markets.”

Aeon Than established units in Myanmar and Laos to operate lending businesses in the two neighboring countries, it said in a regulatory filing on Oct. 12. The company earned about 40 percent of its revenue from the credit card business and 44 percent from consumer loans, according to data on its website.

Profit in the first half ended Aug. 20 jumped 37 percent to 655.4 million baht, the company said on Sept. 25. Aeon Thana’s shares have surged 127 percent this year, compared with a 27 percent gain in the SET Index. (SET)

Yasuhiko Kondo, the company’s managing director, was not available for comment after a call to his office.

-- Editors: Allen Wan, Chan Tien Hin

To contact the reporter on this story: Anuchit Nguyen in Bangkok at anguyen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net

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