Aeon Thana Rises to Record on Earnings Outlook: Bangkok Mover

Aeon Thana Sinsap (Thailand) Pcl, the Thai consumer loans unit of Japan’s biggest credit-card company, gained to a record in Bangkok trading on speculation a rise in the minimum wage and government moves to increase domestic spending will boost earnings.

The shares jumped 5.4 percent to 92.75 baht at the noon trading break in Bangkok, heading for the highest close since the stock listed in 2001. The shares surged 12 percent yesterday after Aeon Thana reported third-quarter profit of 487.1 million baht ($15.9 million), compared with a loss of 520.1 million baht a year earlier. The benchmark SET Index rose 0.3 percent.

Profit in the nine months ended Nov. 20 was 1.14 billion baht, from a loss of 40.4 million baht a year earlier, the company said yesterday. Aeon Thana, controlled by Japan’s Aeon Credit Service Co., joins companies including Krungthai Card Pcl and Siam Commercial Bank Pcl in reporting higher net income from individual loans as wage rises and government tax incentives spur domestic spending on vehicles and other consumer products.

“Aeon Thana will further benefit from higher wages in 2013 as increased income will spur consumer demand for loans,” Usanee Liurut, an analyst at Asia Plus Securities Pcl in Bangkok, said in a report today. “The decrease in bad loans will also be positive for the company’s earnings outlook.”

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra plans to raise the daily minimum wage by as much as 35 percent to 300 baht ($9.80) in 70 of the nation’s 77 provinces in 2013 to meet an election pledge.

Aeon Thana’s nine-month revenue climbed 14 percent to 8.93 billion baht, while expenses for bad debts and doubtful accounts dropped 32 percent to 2.44 billion baht, according to a statement. As of Nov. 20, Aeon had 2.04 million active customers, 61 percent of them outside Bangkok, the company said.

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

-- Editors: Matthew Oakley, Allen Wan

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