Green Shoots versus hard data : Amata land sales collapse by 74%

Land sales of Amata Corporation Plc, the country’s biggest industrial estate developer, dropped almost 74% year-on-year [during the first semester] to about 50 rai in the first half, says director Viboon Kromadit. (Bangkok Post)

Voila. The reality versus the fantasy. The hard data versus the Green Shoots.

Why Amata is important ? Because this large company is located at the beginning of the “added value chain”.

The sales of industrial land of yesterday are the growth, the investments and the jobs of tomorrow.

For that matter, it’s a leading indicator.

The Japanese are the biggest investors in Amata’s industrial estates. […]

The company currently more than 10,000 rai of land for sale in Thailand.

“Before the economic crisis, our intention was to sell 2,000 rai per year so the amount should be sold in four to five years. It should have been sold out by 2011,” said Mr Viboon.

Only five to six factories were built on its land this year, compared to 102 in 2004
, a rate of almost two factories per week. […]

We shall repeat it over and over again : during a recession, it makes no sense to increase production capacities. In other word : you won’t go to your bank to ask for a loan in order to build a new factory.

And eventhough you’d be fool enough to do it… the bank won’t give you the loan (too risky).

This is a basic principle that the clowns refuse to understand, with an unrelenting fanatism. It’s scary.

The thai economy is not going to “recover” anytime soon.

21 Responses to “Green Shoots versus hard data : Amata land sales collapse by 74%”

  1. 1 fall 18 July 2009 at 11:19 am

    Do I hear a Thai version of Subprime coming up?

  2. 2 ThaiCrisis 18 July 2009 at 11:48 am

    Not really Fall. It’s not related to housing.

    Here it’s not a solvency (albeit…) or risky loans issue. But rather a demand issue. Less investors are willing to buy land to build factories… because the market do not need new capacities.

    Currently, we are busy CLOSING factories (and destroying jobs). So why someone would build new ones ?

    It seems simplistic… but it’s not.

    The “Peak Investment” is behind us.

    And here there is a lag effect… such industrial investments take time… The low land sales today… will not fuel growth… tomorrow. Obviously. 😉

    It means : eventhough Thailand would be bombarded with Green Shoots… any new growth in industry would take time to materialize..

  3. 3 Insanity 18 July 2009 at 12:41 pm

    MORE GREEN SHOOTS (The propaganda continues – BUT THE ROOTS ARE DISEASED!)

    Meanwhile, the birth of a panda and A (H1N1)-related deaths are pushing the country’s scorching politics out of the minds of most Thais.
    PATA: Arrivals at ‘rock bottom’ in 2009

    Tourism will pick up from 2010 when the effects of the economic downturn and the H1N1 outbreak ease.

    PATA has revised its 2009-2010 projection for Asia. It said tourist arrivals in Southeast Asia this year will fall by 4.2%, having earlier forecast a 6.8% rise. The figure will rebound to 6.8% in 2010.

    South Asia’s arrivals will plummet by 7.8% this year, rising to 3.7% next year.
    KBANK profits decline
    Kasikornbank showed the consolidated first-half net profit of Bt7.5 billion, down 13.83 per cent on year.
    Thai TMB Bank Q2 net profit slides
    Power demand drops in line with economy
    Thailand’s electricity consumption dropped 3.4 per cent in the first half of this year.
    Auto market drop of 22% foreseen

    The domestic automobile market this year is likely to be far worse than in 2008
    Flat growth for GE a first since 2002

    GE expects no revenue growth in Thailand and Asean this year, a first since 2002, after average annual growth of 20% over the past seven years.
    Swiss watch sales decline by 10-25%
    THAI suffers from flu scare
    Thai Airways International has suffered a sharp fall in passenger numbers from eastern Asia since the Influenza A(H1N1)outbreak.
    84,876 workers have been laid off this year, and many more are likely.
    Many state workers ‘sacked unfairly’
    Farmers’ debt burden soars by 30%

    The most serious situation in a decade!

  4. 4 Insanity 18 July 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Forgot to add the following few lines from PATA: Arrivals at ‘rock bottom’ in 2009

    Thailand’s tourist arrivals will contract by 10.3% in 2009, compared with projected growth of 8.8%.

    PATA expects the country’s arrivals will see 8.8% growth in 2010.

    The spread of the H1N1 virus poses a serious threat to the tourism industry.

  5. 5 ThaiCrisis 18 July 2009 at 4:55 pm

    -> Bob. Nice work. You’re doing my job ! 😉
    Anyway. I found a real Green Shoot : VAT collection decreased only 15 % in june (versus -20 % in may), compared to june 2008. More on that later.

  6. 6 OBSERVER 18 July 2009 at 6:11 pm

    It´s interesting that the “DEADLY FLU” is blamed by every Thai institution and media for the problems in Thailand.Of course spiced with the global cisis. The truth is that this flu is different from the “normal flues:
    -it is milder but spreads more easily
    -it is not letal per se, meens if you don´t have any serious underlying disease. (Are the Thai figures relevant?)
    -it claims far less death´s
    -it affects younger people, usually healthy ones
    -recovery is faster.
    No doubt, the Abishit gang uses this for own purposes


  7. 7 Pricilla 18 July 2009 at 6:49 pm

    My girlfriend is involved in real estate, sales are woeful, but rentals OK, could be the much reduced amount of potential buyers deciding to rent instead? I have rental properties, guess who rents them, things actually aren’t as bad as I had expected.

    Insanity, are you trying to steal Dr Dooms title? Just joking, nothing but bad news out there, except maybe for Goldman Sachs. Quick excerpt about everyone’s favorite bank:

    ““The Bank (Goldman Sachs – Ed.) has raised the possibility that there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this program could use it to manipulate markets in unfair ways.” Joseph Facciponti, Assistant U.S. Attorney, July 4, 2009

    The significance of the Assistant U.S. Attorney’s statement at the Bail Hearing for the former Goldman employee, Sergey Aleynikov, who was charged with stealing Goldman Sachs trading software, goes far beyond the issue of the alleged theft.

    What was/is Goldman doing with software which could be used, by its own apparent admission, to “manipulate” the markets “in unfair ways”. We do not know. But are there not only two logical inferences possible from Goldman’s claim (about the software’s capacity to manipulate the markets in “unfair ways”) transmitted via the Assistant U.S. Attorney?

    1. Nothing was to stop Goldman from manipulating the market in unfair ways itself should it have chosen to do so (And if they did not intend to do so what were they doing in possession of such software?)

    2. Goldman developed the software to be used by another entity – perhaps The Fed-led Cartel* of Key Central Bankers and favored Financial Institutions to facilitate their manipulating Precious Metals, Equities and Strategic Commodities Markets among others using Goldman, (and its software) as a Primary Dealer.

    We will not address the allegations buzzing around the internet that Goldman was illegally using the software for “frontrunning” the markets for its own profit.”

  8. 8 Lothar 19 July 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I’m just back from a one week extended Visa Run in Chiang Mai.
    And i was really surprised: All Thai Airways flights were booked out, there was a huge amount of Farang Tourists in the City, the nightmarket food corner was overcrowded with people and you had to wait 30 minutes for a simple Tom Kha Gai, 3 out of 7 days my guesthouse (the cheap but very clean Kristi House) had to put the “Full” sign on the door, Airport had huge lines at the 5 checkin rows etc.

    On the other hand, the many beer bars especially the onces who’s only purpose is to pick up a prostitute were deserted. Most Karaoke (for the typical asian customer) already closed. Visiting the previously great “Chiang Mai Land” entertainment area is depressing now – so many empty shops and for sale signs on houses/bars/businesses.

    And the most amazing discovery for me was: There are now much more female then male tourists. I counted the genders in every restaurant or bar i visited or walked by.

    So it looks that western tourism isn’t so bad (statistics say indeed only -20% on european farangs) but it is changing. People stay cheap and eat cheaper. And the typical sex tourist seem to go to other places. Being myself one of them in the past i know why: 2500 Baht + Bar Fine for a LongTerm is just way to much.

    Welcome Cambodia/Philippines.

  9. 9 Insanity 19 July 2009 at 6:33 pm

    More brown shoots!!


    For a glimpse of what awaits Britain, Europe, and America as budget deficits spiral to war-time levels, look at what is happening to the Irish welfare state.

    And if you think this doesn’t, or won’t, affect Thailand. WRONG!

    I only wish I could join the Woot! Woot! Let’s parteyyyy!!! brigade. But sorry, I can’t, what with the world-wide surmounting deception, distortion & intervention thus protecting profits & wealth as indicated in the Goldman Sachs DeepCaster LLC article you quote at Plus numerous like article which disclose the overwhelming evidence of ongoing covert and overt market manipulations, such as; See Mile Shedlock article “Paulson Admits Coercion in Handling of Economic Crisis,” at; Howard S. Katz article “Fed Deflation Propaganda to Meet Wealth Destroying Inflation,” at and Bob Chapman article “The Privately Owned Federal Reserve Bank Runs the United States,” at

    Oh and according to Marc Faber (Dr. Doom) the “Ultimate Crisis Is Still Coming”:

  10. 10 Lothar 19 July 2009 at 8:59 pm

    I like Marc Fabers analysis but he is wrong here. If inflation would be so easy to generate (just by printing more) then why didn’t the japanese come out of inflation in the 90ths.

    Sorry but to be precise i think it should be called hyperinflation is easy to generate but not inflation. Thats a different.

    The US dollar is going up against the Euro which is pissing me off.

  11. 11 Insanity 19 July 2009 at 11:01 pm

    I agree with your comments.

    I should have quoted the title of the report with DR. Doom only (no hyperlink): Ultimate Crisis Is Still Coming.

  12. 12 Insanity 20 July 2009 at 11:13 am


    ‘Typical’ scam (‘Zig-zag’ scheme)
    Allegations have been made that a number of passengers are being detained every month in the duty free area on suspicion of shoplifting, and then held by the police until they pay large sums of money to buy their freedom.

    Letters of complaint to the papers here in Thailand make it clear that passengers are regularly detained at the airport for alleged shoplifting, and then made to pay middlemen to win their freedom.

    The Danish Embassy says one of its nationals was recently subjected to a very similar scam, and earlier this month an Irish scientist managed to flee Thailand with her husband and one year-old son after being arrested at the airport and accused of stealing an eyeliner worth around £17.

    The British Embassy has also warned passengers at Bangkok Airport to take care not to move items around in the duty free shopping area before paying for them, as this could result in arrest and imprisonment.

  13. 13 Insanity 20 July 2009 at 11:55 am

    Just an update on the corruption issue, King Power, the Duty Free mob at Bangkok’s international airport have released a video which they claim shows the British couple did nick a wallet — and it does… while this certainly doesn’t excuse the conduct of the Thai police (who promptly carted them off and extorted them), it does make the whole thing a bit more interesting.

    You can see the video here:

  14. 14 Marvo 21 July 2009 at 12:13 am

    Can I ask for opinions…?

    @Insanity, Lothar, Priscilla, TC and and learn-ed commentators…

    Given that any calm in world markets etc. generated by the current display of “green shoots” just means that we are in the eye of the storm, what can the average Joe, with his average savings and average job, do to protect himself and leave himself in the best position in the future – say 5-10 years down the line when the storm has finally blown itself out?

  15. 15 ThaiCrisis 21 July 2009 at 2:16 am

    …. Pray ? 😉

    I’ve got another solution, albeit a little bit desperate : don’t save your money. Drink it all.

  16. 16 Insanity 21 July 2009 at 4:59 am


    Having just read the latest Market Oracle article: Goldman Sachs: A Vampire On The Jugular Of America
    I second TC response – Pray. For I truly believe that we are in for some terrible times.

    Marvo, in all seriousness you pose an excellent question: “Given that any calm in world markets etc. generated by the current display of “green shoots” just means that we are in the eye of the storm, what can the average Joe, with his average savings and average job, do to protect himself and leave himself in the best position in the future – say 5-10 years down the line when the storm has finally blown itself out?”

    My answer: I truly wished I knew! I’m daily screening numerous economic news & everything scares the shit of me. I don’t believe any of the main stream propaganda, and I’m confused by (apparently) well written non-mainstream articles that within push whatever they are trying to trade. (I’ve seen recent articles, for and against the purchase / sale of Gold, forecasting future prices between $6000 / oz and $350 / oz!)

  17. 17 Kai 21 July 2009 at 10:16 am

    I am in Chiang Mai, as a tour operator.
    I am so surprised that someone in here said that Chiang Mai was crowded with tourists during the past 3 months.

    If you asked every guide and any tour operator in Chiang Mai everyone will say the same thing. This is the disaster of the tour business in Thailand.

    Thai Airways is getting bankruptcy and tour operators are in the same condition.

  18. 18 Lothar 21 July 2009 at 11:06 am

    @Marvo: Difficult. I’m happy that i’m living almost from day to day (a nice side effect from being poor) and just have 250g Gold and a currencies mix (Norway, Euro, Thai) in my bank account and i’m not thinking about touching/changing it. It is also not an investment but a saving for an emergency.

    Gold is overpriced right now and will fall deep. So maybe other metalls – i looked for Lithium (you know it will be used a lot in all the E-Cars in the future and it is a rare metal) but coudn’t find any serious investment option.

    Everybody says buy commodities. But it is not that easy.

    My mother with her retirement savings asked me what she should do with a few hundertthousands of Euros. I said to her: No way that i give a financial investment recommendation to familiy or friends – this is a blueprint to destroy all the good relationships you now have if it fails. Think for yourself, i only gave her some recommendations for relevant informations sources (websites and two news magazines).

  19. 19 ThaiCrisis 21 July 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Thank you Kai for your view. It seems that many people share your “feelings” on the ground.

    And in any case, we have hard data to support those analysis : number of arrivals at airport, occupancy rate at 5 stars hotels etc.

    I hope your sector will get some relief with the coming high season. But before that, there will be casualties. It’s unavoidable.

  20. 20 Lothar 21 July 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Kai, don’t know about the last 3 month but i know what i saw last week – and i’m doing the visa run via CNX to Mae Sai every 3 month since 2005.

    Maybe you should leave your tour office for some time and walk around. Maybe people don’t want to go to see 20min of the flight of the gibbon for 1800 Baht or a 60 bullet shooting ground for 1600 Baht anymore. Or going an a stupid golden triangle tour where you do almost nothing else then sitting in the minibus for 9 hours and getting motion sick.

    At least in the lower price areas where i stay i found a lot of Farangs. More then usual in the lowest part of low season.

    And the special promotions from Thai Airways right now are really nice (at least when you compare it to the shocking prices of 2008). They are now even 20% cheaper then there discount daughter airline Nok on some routes. CNXMae Hong Son for example where i paid 960 (TG) instead of 1250 (NOK) Baht – last year it was 2250 (TG) 1650 (NOK) Baht

    Yes we need more numbers much more numbers because a few arrival and general occupancy numbers for hotel rooms will not be enough to study a change in the behaviour of tourists now. So maybe personal observations are not so bad.

  21. 21 scorpion 22 July 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I agrred with Kai, I’m on the airline industrial. Every airlines needs to promote fare, tour etc. The revenue for airlines drops more than 30%.

    I doesn’t see any silverlights at horizon yet, may be Abhisith and Korn had a good eyes more than me (but I don’t beleive them)

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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