Thai investors increase activities across industries

December 27, 2023 | 09:00
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Thai companies continue to deepen their footprint as they bet on the potential of the Vietnamese market.

Last week, Bangkok-based SCG Packaging (SCGP) announced that it has scooped up 70 per cent of offset folding carton packaging manufacturer Starprint Vietnam in a deal estimated to be worth $27.8 million. The move will enable SCGP to bolster its presence in the potential high-growth market of Vietnam.

Thai investors increase activities across industries
Starprint Vietnam, Source:

Starprint Vietnam boasts two manufacturing facilities in Long Binh Amata Industrial Zone of the southern province of Dong Nai, with a combined capacity of 16,500 tonnes of offset printing per year and eight million pieces of rigid boxes per year. The company serves domestic and multinational companies, mainly operating in the fast-moving consumer goods sector.

Wichan Jitpukdee, CEO of SCGP, said, “Starprint Vietnam will be SCGP’s first high-quality rigid box facility in ASEAN and our first offset folding carton production base in Vietnam. The addition to our portfolio will greatly enhance our capability to provide integrated packaging solutions to meet rising demand in Vietnam and ASEAN. This will also drive synergy among our regional operations.”

Likewise, KBTG, a Thai fintech organisation under KBank, introduced itself to the Vietnamese market in late 2022. The move was followed by the establishment of KBTG Vietnam in June this year.

As an extended arm of KBTG to propel KBank’s regional expansion, KBTG Vietnam is supporting more than 30 projects in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos, covering various areas such as mobile and core banking, as well as financial innovations. KBTG Vietnam is also the tech team behind the K PLUS Vietnam application.

It has been a remarkable year for KBTG Vietnam with significant achievements, according to managing director Thanussak Thanyasiri.

“Our staff has grown from 30 in 2022 to more than 120 in 2023. We have delivered over 30 projects with K PLUS Vietnam, reaching over one million customers. Following the opening of our flagship office in Ho Chi Minh City, we have expanded our presence to Hanoi by establishing an office in the capital,” he said. “All of this wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of our partners and, most importantly, our KBTG Vietnam staff.”

In 2024, KBTG aims to expand its Vietnamese team to 200 to bolster its role as KBank’s regional technology hub.

Elsewhere, WHA Industrial Development plans to inject $55 million to implement the first phase of WHA Smart Technology industrial park in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa. Early this year, Central Retail Corporation also revealed its plans to invest $1.45 billion in Vietnam from before 2027 to increase the number of its stores to 600.

Waranon Vanichprapa, Thailand country managing partner at DLA Piper, said, “Family-owned conglomerates and other listed companies from Thailand are likely to increase outbound investments, particularly in energy, financial services, real estate, hospitality and retail sectors. DLA Piper has recently helped several Thai companies to complete deals in Brunei, Vietnam, Mexico, the US, and Germany. Thai conglomerates have expanded overseas heavily in the past 15 years.”

Thai groups like SCG, B. Grimm, Super Energy, ThaiBev, and Central Group have left a substantial footprint in Vietnam over the years through dealmaking activities. Meanwhile, multiple Thai banks including SCB X and KBank are exploring opportunities related to the estimated $700 million Home Credit asset.

As of November 20, Thailand was the ninth-largest investor out of 143 countries and territories investing in Vietnam and ranked second among ASEAN countries. Thai companies have invested in 733 projects registered at over $14 billion, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

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