Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

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World's Most-Valuable Airport Operator Is Now in Thailand

  • International tourism powers growth at Bangkok, Phuket hubs
  • Shanghai International Airport a distant second in Asia

After strong international tourist arrivals in 2017, Airports of Thailand Pcl surpassed Spain’s Aena SA as the world’s most-valuable airport services company.

Powered by a 75 percent gain since May 1, the operator of Thailand’s main international airports also passed the 1 trillion baht ($31 billion) market capitalization mark, joining only state-controlled energy company PTT Pcl above that milestone. Shares of Airports of Thailand jumped 9.2 percent in December -- rallying for a 10th consecutive month -- as government data showed international tourists in November jumped 23 percent.

The stock’s surge was by far the best performer in Bloomberg’s Asia-Pacific Infrastructure Top Peers gauge, with Shanghai International Airport Co. a distant second at 29 percent in the same period. Airports of Thailand gained 4.4 percent in the first two trading sessions of 2018.

Even so, analysts aren’t convinced: their consensus forecast suggests share may fall 12 percent over the next 12 months. The stock has 14 buy recommendations, 10 hold and eight sell ratings.

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