Yuthachai Charanachitta, the third generation of the Ital-Thai Group, aims to rebrand the group by focusing on its five businesses and study into that is expected to be completed this year. “When you think of the Ital-Thai Group, you think about the contractor business – Ital-Thai Development. However, our group also has many other businesses and we are studying to rebrand the group by classifying our business in a way that will give a clear picture about the group,” Youthachai, who is director of Ital-Thai Development, said. Currently, the group has five businesses. Ital-Thai Development runs the contractor business, which generates total revenue of more than Bt40 billion a year. It also runs a cement manufacturing plant, and a steel plant. Then there is Ital-Thai Engineering. The group also has a trading business involved with wineries. The group’s real-estate business is managed by Amari Estates, while its hospitality business under the Amari brand is managed by ONYX Hospitality Group. The company has a registered capital of Bt700 million with the Charanachitta family holding a majority stake. For the real-estate business, the group has set up Amari Real Estate Co with a registered capital of Bt400 million. The first project was the Amari Residences Hua Hin, worth Bt2 billion, that was launched last year. It is expected to be completed in 2011 with transfer to customers in the third quarter of this year. Yuthachai, who is also the chief executive officer and president of Amari Estates Co Ltd, said the company will generate total revenue of more than Bt1 billion this year from its Hua Hin project. The company also plans to launch the latest condominium project in Patong beach in Phuket worth more than Bt2 billion in this year. This project will offer a 30-year lease to buyers with the right to renew after 30 years. The company also offers management for this project by Onyx Hospitality Group. This project will have 200 units. Of the total, 10 will be villas at a price of more than Bt200 million per unit, and the other 190 units will be low-rise condominiums at a starting price between Bt7 million and Bt8 million per unit, starting at 50 square metres per unit. Pre-sales will start in the second quarter of the year with construction beginning next year. Nearly 55 per cent of its target customers are foreigners. Amari Estate Co also plans to launch three or four projects in 2012-2013 worth more than Bt1 billion per project. They will be located in Phuket, Hua Hin and Pattaya. “In Phuket, it will be located on Nai Han beach, in Pattaya negotiations are going on for the land, while in Hua Hin the land has already been acquired,” he said. Meanwhile, its hospitality business, Onyx Hospitality Group plans to manage 51 properties by 2018. Currently, the company manages 33 properties in Thailand and overseas under four brands -Saffron, Amari, Shama, and Ozo. Thirteen of the properties are managed under the brand name Shama of which 12 are located in China, and one in Bangkok. There are 13 properties under the Amari brand, while seven properties are non-branded as some of them are managed under the customer’s brand, and some properties are still studying which brand will suit them. Onyx Hospitality Group president and chief executive officer Peter Henley said the company will manage two or three new properties this year, and one of them is the Ozo Koh Samui . This hotel has an investment budget of Bt600 million. The Oriental Residence Bangkok will be managed under the Saffron brand, while one in Maldives will be called Amari Addu Maldives. This will be the first hotel under the Amari brand outside Thailand. This project will undergo renovation and be opened this year. The company has signed a 20-year management contract for this project. The company also will sign contracts for five properties next year, he said. Source:nationmultimedia.com .

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Giant wants to be known as more than just a contractor

Only large developers on the stock market remain on the Thai market, as they can access a source of funding. Prices of single detached houses and townhouses only rose moderately over the past year, with condominium prices increasing the most to more than 100,000 baht a square metre in Bangkok from 80,000 to 90,000 baht.

The foreign property market has slowed down considerably due to increased competition and rising prices and consequently the market is starting to respond in an attempt to maintain inward investment. Many foreigners resident in Thailand ask whether they can get a mortgage or loan from a Thai bank to purchase property. Until recently, the simple answer was no. Even now, the “main street” Thai banks are unwilling to lend money to foreign nationals for almost any purpose –companies with foreign shareholders find it difficult to obtain business overdraft facilities. However, the more progressive finance houses are starting to take an interest in the market for financial services provision to expatriates. Whilst each case is judged on merit, successful applicants are likely to be permanent residents, or be able to prove several years of residence in Thailand on a non-immigrant visa, and have proof of a secure monthly income in the form of offshore earnings or a permanent job in Thailand (for which a work permit must be presented).

At the end of 2002, quality “Grade A” condos in the Central Business Districts ranged from $148 to $170 per square foot. Ongoing projects in the same area now sell for $193 to $273. Both expats and investors mostly seek two- and three-bedroom units. But if you drop down from luxury to “decent” level, you’ll find plenty of resale properties in the $62 to $227 per square foot bracket. As in most cities, the smaller the property, the more expensive the cost of floor space.