BTS Group boosting dividend to B6bn and beyond

Back at home, Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc, the BTS subsidiary and skytrain operator, has received five Chinese-made four-car trains to be used on the 5.3-kilometre extension of the Silom Line from Wong Wian Yai to Bang Wa.
Made by Changchun Railway Vehicles Co, the 20 carriages worth 1.2 billion baht have arrived at Laem Chabang port and should begin trial runs on Dec 5, said chief operating officer Surapong Laoha-Unya.

The SET-listed BTS Group Holdings will pay out at least 6 billion baht in dividends for the fiscal year ending next March 31, with dividend payments to rise by 1 billion baht annually over the next two years on fast-growing revenue.

Maybank Kim Eng Securities (Thailand) CEO Boonporn Boriboonsongsilp (right) and Mr Keeree visit a Maybank kiosk at Sala Daeng BTS station yesterday. PORNPROM SARTTARBHAYA
The company’s dividend payout could be 7 billion baht for the next fiscal year and 8 billion baht for the following year, said BTS chairman Keeree Kanjanapas.
Revenue for the fiscal first quarter through June 30 surged 19% quarter-on-quarter, beating the target.
“The growing dividend payout amount could contribute to growth in BTS revenue and dividends from the BTS Rail Mass Transit Growth Infrastructure Fund (BTSGIF), in which BTS holds 33.33%,” said Mr Keeree.
BTS in April raised 62.5 billion baht with the launch of the country’s first infrastructure fund. A share of the proceeds will go to financing the company’s expansion plan.
August skytrain revenue from ridership hit an all-time high of 19 million baht a day, potentially boosting the company’s bottom line in the second quarter.
BTS in August announced plans to spend up to 2.19 billion baht on an interim dividend of 19 satang a share or its fiscal first-quarter operations.
Mr Keeree said BTS Group has set an investment budget of 120 billion baht for four projects and prepared 34 billion in cash for bidding on new or extended electric rail projects.
The four projects include extensions of the Green Lines to the north and south of Bangkok and the Pink Line that will link with existing skytrain lines.
If the company wins the bidding, the projects will be financed using the 34 billion baht in cash, warrant conversion and bank loans.
Elsewhere, BTS recently signed an agreement with an Indonesian partner to manage a mass transit project there.
“The company’s stance is clear,” said Mr Keeree.
“We’ll not invest there with a hefty amount but help to manage and invest 10-15% in the project if it is financially viable.”
Back at home, Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc, the BTS subsidiary and skytrain operator, has received five Chinese-made four-car trains to be used on the 5.3-kilometre extension of the Silom Line from Wong Wian Yai to Bang Wa.
Made by Changchun Railway Vehicles Co, the 20 carriages worth 1.2 billion baht have arrived at Laem Chabang port and should begin trial runs on Dec 5, said chief operating officer Surapong Laoha-Unya.

• Published in Bangkok Post: 25 Oct 2013 at 00.00
• Newspaper section: Business

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