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UBS upbeat on Thailand's Oil and Chemical Industries

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An optimistic tone prevailed at UBS's Thailand Oil and Chemical Conference in Bangkok last month. UBS analysts are positive on the country's oil and chemical sectors, believing that the market has only just began to fulfil its growth potential.

Keith NERUDA, Head of Thailand Research expects the country's oil and chemicals industry to benefit from three main factors.

"First, the country's structural advantage of domestic oil and gas production. Natural gas supplies about two-thirds of Thailand's power production and cheap feedstock for the petrochemical industry. Second, Thailand's robust economy will continue to provide for a fast growing domestic market for the oil and chemicals industry for many years to come. Third, we believe both the chemical and refining industries have the potential to enjoy extended peak cycle conditions into 2007," he said.

"We are upbeat on the medium and long-term prospects in Thailand and believe that peak cycle conditions for chemical and refining companies could continue. At the same time, a drop in domestic demand, which could be sparked by a further escalation of oil prices, is a key risk," he said.

The Conference was attended by senior management teams from listed companies including: Aromatics (Thailand); Bangchak Petroleum; PTT Public; PTT Exploration and Production; Siam Cement; Thai Olefins; Thai Plastic and Chemical; Thai Oil and Vinythai Chemical industry consultant, CMAI, and the Petroleum Institute of Thailand were also present.

"The two days of group presentations and site visits have confirmed our positive outlook on the sector. We believe that the oil & gas and petrochemical sectors will be a core driver of the SET in the coming years," Neruda said.

For further information

Mr Mark Panday

(T) +852 2971 8221

(M) +852 9747 1990

Mr Matthew McGrath

(T) +852 2971 8200

(M) +852 9325 0166

Ms Julie Yeo

(T) +65 6836 5332

(M) +65 9673 4433

Bangkok, 12 May 2005