Monday, September 14, 2009

Collapsing like a deck of cards

Bangkok Post

Story regarding foreign investment in the regional media:

However, it's not an achievement that's likely to be repeated in Thailand. Dunkley scotched months of rumours that his Post Media Company was looking to buy this paper's chief competitor, The Nation.

"Of course, blind Freddy will tell you The Nation is potentially gasping for air and is on its knees. Incompetence is finally catching up with them," he said.

"Market analysts are also arriving at the same conclusion, so I wonder how long it will be before we see the group collapsing like a deck of cards. It wouldn't take much. We are not particularly interested," he said bluntly.

"How could we be when foreign ownership is capped at 30% and at the board level 25%, which is strange in itself. Navigating the minefield of politics would also be quite a task. I wonder wouldn't it be better to go farther afield for investment opportunities?"

H/T Bangkok Pundit

Dow Jones actually owns a minority share of Nation Group (not much to made a difference obviously). Despite that fact, the Nation Group is a poorly managed company probably on its last death throes. The only way I can see it survive is with assistance from the government with state owned company advertising contracts, which is plausible, since it acts like the English language propaganda mouthpiece for the Abhisit government, a media partnership with its military masters and patrons, getting producing kick backs from Thai PBS(controlled by Thepchai Yong, Suthichai Yoon's brother) in a strategic partnership arrangement, or a total top to bottom restructuring where basically everybody is fired, which probably won't happen because Suthichai Yoon is also a major minority shareholder in the company.

Even if The Nation gets state support with producing contracts and state advertising, that will only keep it afloat(maybe), but will do nothing to alleviate the massive debt it is shouldering.

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