Companies disrupted, business events delayed by Thai protests

BANGKOK - Contingency plans have been enforced at several companies, particularly those under PTT Group, which is still conducting its businesses as usual despite the demonstration in front of the Ministry of Energy building, part of the PTT complex, last Wednesday, which forced the oil and petrochemical giant to close its head office.

PTT and its key subsidiaries reported to the Stock Exchange of Thailand yesterday that they had put measures in place for business-continuity management and regularly ran simulations to deal with the evolving situation.

"As a result, business operations are still running as normal without an impact on business partners as well as energy supply to the people of Thailand," PTT said.

Similar messages were filed to the SET by IRPC, PTT Exploration and Production, PTT Global Chemical, Thai Oil and Bangchak Petroleum.

Thai Oil said the episode on Wednesday had no impact on its regular business operations, but it had adjusted its processes to continue operating and serving customers without any interruption.

Bangchak said it was still operating and supplying fuel to customers as usual.

Central Pattana (CPN) reported to the SET that it had postponed the rights offering for the CPN Retail Growth Leasehold Property Fund (CPNRF), citing market uncertainty due to the political unrest.

CPNRF had been scheduled to open for subscriptions from December 3-12 for existing retail investors and December 3-18 for existing special subscribers and owners of the real-estate properties, as well as persons qualified for private placement.

CPN management will now evaluate the situation and make information available to existing unit-holders tomorrow through the websites of the SET and the fund's management company.

The company had planned to increase CPNRF's capital from Bt15.76 billion (S$0.6 billion) to Bt25.52 billion.

A source at CPN said the CentralWorld shopping centre on Rama I Road closed on Sunday because of the massive rally in the area, causing many events to be cancelled as well, including three beer parks held by Chang, Tiger and Singha. CentralWorld attracts about 120,000 shoppers a day on average.

"The situation will be evaluated day by day," he said.

CAT Telecom will revise its plan regarding the availability of a back-up data-centre system to ensure that its communications services provided to customers will not be disrupted in the future by either natural disasters or man-made incidents, president Kitisak Sriprasert said.

A blackout was allegedly deliberately caused at the Bang Rak branch on Saturday, which knocked out its Internet server and interfered with its communications network services to 92,000 corporate and individual customers.

The state enterprise is evaluating the damage, which is estimated provisionally at between Bt200 million and Bt300 million.

It took CAT 18 hours to restore the power system and related services completely by yesterday morning. It has also stepped up emergency measures to prevent a repeat of the situation and set up a fact-finding committee to investigate the incident.

Kitisak is confident that CAT will not lose customers from this unexpected incident.

The International Institute for Trade and Development postponed a seminar set for today at Bankok's Dusit Thani Hotel on the border trade outlook in the Eastern region.