Wednesday, July 4, 2012

7-Eleven unperturbed by AIA share sale, say executives

CP All Plc, the local operator of 7-Eleven, says its business will not be affected after American International Assurance (AIA) sold a large block of CP All shares in Friday trading.
Korsak Chairasmisak, chief executive of CP All, insisted that the sale of 140 million shares by AIA, part of the Hong Kong-based AIA Group, for about 4.5 billion baht last week has not affected investor confidence in the firm or its share price.

"Even if AIA sold its entire stake, we believe there would be no impact on CP All given our robust growth," he said.
Mr Korsak said he personally views AIA's divestment as normal, since the insurance giant has gradually sold shares in the company for several years.
"This is not the first time it sold the shares," he said. "The reason is possibly for capital gains, as AIA has held the shares for so long, even before CP All listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand."
According to the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) data, as of CP All's latest register book closing date on May 9 this year, AIA was the third largest shareholder of CP All, with 4.53%, or 203,552,400 shares, after C.P. Merchandising and Charoen Pokphand Group.
According to the shareholding structure, AIA's stake in CP All has gradually been reduced: from 8.97% in 2007 to 4.53% in early May.
"Now seems to be the right timing for AIA to sell CP All shares, as CP All has seen strong business growth and a robust financial status," Mr Korsak said.
Managing director Piyawat Titasattavorakul said CP All sales in the second quarter rose an additional 1-2 percentage points on top of the normal growth rate of 5%, boosted by the Uefa European Football Championship (Euro 2012).
He reiterated the company's commitment to continuing its promotional campaign in the third quarter. The campaign offers customers who buy 40 baht worth of products a right to buy other products at a discount.
The company predicts revenue growth of 13-14% year-on-year.
Last year, CP All posted a net profit of 8 billion baht on revenue of 161.88 billion baht.
AIA's executives could not be reached for comment.
Shares of CP All closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 35.75 baht, up 25 satang, in trade worth 540.08 million baht.

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