NEWSLETTER No 105 – JUNE 2013
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Our office address and location
at the Fisherman’s Village end of Bangrak
58/11 Moo 4, Bangrak, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320
Telephone: 077 770-1 Fax 077 447 777
Estate Agents, along with Lawyers, tend to get a great deal of criticism for the service they provide and the fees they
charge. I will leave the legal profession to defend themselves but would like to say something in defence of the real estate
Undoubtedly there are a number of people working as real estate agents here on Koh Samui who are less than
professional and whose sole concern is the commission they earn with no thought to the structure of the deal and the
longer term implications for the buyer or indeed sometime the seller. As an agent your primary duty is to your client and
your client is the person who will pay your fee. However, you still have a duty to the other party, usually the purchaser. You
must do nothing to mislead them and you must provide honest and full disclosure to any questions.
The sort of person to be wary of is the one who “likes to keep a low profile”, works out of bars, does not have an office or a
web site and a strange email address. I came across one recently and my clients cooperation was needed as part of the
deal he had negotiated. We had no issue with the basic proposal but I needed some important detail as to how it would
work. I was not comfortable with the answers I was getting and as soon as I started asking pertinent questions he hung up
on me and would not answer his phone after that. His proposal not only would have been risky for my client but also for the
people he was supposedly acting for. Fortunately I knew one of the other parties and he was aware of the risk as well and
between us we were able to conclude the matter to the benefit of everyone.
So what do we, as agents, bring to the table? Personally, over 40 years of real estate experience in the UK, Germany, the
Middle East, the USA and for the last eleven years, Thailand and in particular Koh Samui. As a Chartered Surveyor I am
bound to act within the Code of Conduct of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and if you want to know more
about the RICS you can visit their web site at www.rics.org .
But what about actually selling your property? The first thing of course is to attract buyers and these days the most
effective way is through the internet. The majority of people start there with a Search Engine, the most popular is Google. I
therefore concentrate on two main things – keeping our web site up to date and current and ensuring that Google is
informed of this. Last year we completely redesigned our web site both to give it a more up to date and modern appearance
but also so that it was written in a web language compliant with the requirements of the Search Engines. Yahoo was until
last year powered by Google but changed to the Microsoft Search Engine Bing. For my purposes then only Google and
Bing count and that is reflected in the results. We used to submit to dozens of search engines but that proved a waste of
time and we never received any links from them.
Real Estate in Thailand has had a bad press over the years and part of the selling process is re-assuring buyers that it is
possible to own property here legally provided you comply with the law. The major issue in the past was the use of
nominee shareholders in Thai companies. There is nothing wrong with the company structure provided the shareholders
are real. I have never considered real estate to be a hard sell. Our job is to guide a purchaser through the process so that
they are comfortable at every stage.
To extend the reach through the internet further, together with a number of our clients we have teamed up with Rightmove
Overseas in the UK to promote our client’s properties to a wider audience. Experience has shown that internet marketing is
by far the most effective way to reach buyers and we have started a four month campaign over the summer where their
properties are also being offered on the Rightmove web site which you can see by following this link. We are seeing a
reasonable level of demand and there are certainly buyers around and sales are happening which is a good sign but buyers
are very price conscious and deals are taking a long time to conclude. There are still more properties entering the market
than being sold so do not expect prices to start increasing any time soon.
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We are fortunate in being allowed to offer what is probably the best sea-view land with full infrastructure in Samui.
Situated on a ridge on the south-west of the island, these individual plots of land have magnificent sea views across to the
mainland and also to the Five Islands. Some plots have the benefit of views to both the east and west. All services are
installed including a concrete road, underground three phase electricity, filtered water supply from the estates own
reservoir and high speed Broadband fibre optic cabling for internet, telephone and television services. Whilst you are free
to design your own villa within certain reasonable parameters, there is a range of designs available for inspiration.
Ko Samui Properties have been fortunate in being involved with this land for some time as Project Managers of two of the
recently completed villas and can therefore guide you through the acquisition and planning of your dream home on this
magnificent land. Please see further details on our web page here – or contact us direct
See also in particular the following New Listings and Price Reductions – CTRL + click to follow the link:
3 Bedroom ocean view pool villa in Ban Tai
Available at Baht 9,950,000
3 Bedroom ocean view villa in Choengmon
Available at Baht 27,500,000
Luxury 6 Bedroom Sea View Villa in Bophut Hills
Available at Baht 75,000,000
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4 Bedroom ocean view Villa south of Nathon
Available at Baht 19,950,000
Single Bedroom 4th Floor Sea View
Foreign Ownership Condominium in Bophut
Available at Baht 2,950,000
1.32 Rai Sea View land in Taling Ngam
Available at Baht 8,000,000
Studio Apartment in Arisara Place – Soi Sunday, Bophut
Previously offered at Baht 3,100,000
Now available at Baht 1,750,000
3 Rai of Beach Land in Laem Set
Originally offered at Baht 35,000,000
Now available at Baht 21,000,000
For Festivals around Thailand visit the Tourist Authority of Thailand website.
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CPN plans Asean outlets before 2017 The Nation 3 May 2013
Central Pattana (CPN) is looking at expanding into Asean countries by 2017, most likely Vietnam, Malaysia or Indonesia, president
and chief executive officer Kobchai Chirathivat said. He said purchasing power in those countries had strong growth potential,
especially with the Asean Economic Community (AEC) coming into effect in 2015.
"When we expand into Asean countries, [we will either] invest by ourselves [or form] joint ventures with new partners. This will
depend on the business opportunity," he said.
Meanwhile, the company has continued to expand domestically, both in Bangkok and upcountry. This is according to its five-year
plan to open 15 new shopping complexes, in Thailand and overseas, worth a total of Bt50 billion by 2017.
Two of the new complexes will launch next year, CentralFestival Samui worth Bt3.1 billion in January and CentralPlaza Salaya in
Nakhon Pathom province in the third quarter, worth Bt3.9 billion.
The Koh Samui project will have total space of 90,000 square metres to serve an estimated 35,000 shoppers a day.
CentralPlaza Salaya will have 180,000sqm of space and target about 60,000 customers a day.
CPN is also still interested in developing a 500,000sqm mixed-use project at Suan Lum Intersection in Bangkok. This 88-rai (14-
hectare) plot is owned by the Crown Property Bureau, which has again called for bids on the project after cancelling it earlier. CPN
will submit its proposal in August.
Kobchai said that if successful in winning the Suan Lum job, CPN planned to develop a project that combined retail, offices and
housing in line with the terms of reference.
However, he declined to give more details before the company submits its plan to the bureau.
He added that demand in the retail market had continued to grow in line with the country's gross domestic product, which has been
expanding by an average of 4-5 per cent a year. This is boosting consumers' purchasing power.
Meanwhile, Thailand has the potential to be regional hub once the AEC becomes effective, as multinational firms set up their head
As a result of all these factors, CPN will continue to expand its investment to boost its annual revenue growth to an average of 15 per
cent between now and 2017, he said.
Wallaya Chirathivat, CPN's senior executive vice president for business development, design and construction, said the company's
revenue in the first quarter of this year had achieved the estimated 15 per cent.
Five percentage points of this growth were due to rental income from existing projects, and the rest from new projects.
The company also plans to open two new branches in Hat Yai and Chiang Mai in the second half of this year, she said.
Once again the power supply – or lack of it – has been in the news again following the power cut that affected the whole of Southern
Thailand on Tuesday 21st. The following are some of the news stories that followed. In Samui we went off at 18.50 and power was
restored here at 21.00.
Thailand’s Blackout Raises Questions About Power Stability Wall Street Journal 23 May 2013
By Nopparat Chaichalearmmongkol
More than eight million residents and tourists in southern Thailand -– many of them in famous travel hubs such as Phuket, Hat Yai
and Koh Samui –- were caught off guard by the country’s biggest-ever power blackout Tuesday night, plunging much of the region
Nerves were rattled by the sudden power outage, which began around 7 p.m. local time. In the three southern-most provinces where
an Islamic insurgency has raged for nearly a decade, military officials moved quickly to reassure people in Narathiwat, Yala and
Pattani provinces that the blackout wasn’t an escalation of the guerrilla war that’s claimed more than 5,000 lives since 2004. Army
patrols took to the streets to help reassure anxious residents, while the government announced on television that the outage wasn’t
related to the ongoing violence in the region.
In Phuket, the local tourist association said, “We first doubt what really caused this. The impact of the blackout on everyone,
especially the business sector, was big. Two hours for life to stop are too long.”
Airports in the region continued to function using emergency back-up power supplies.
Although the sudden outage lasted only a couple of hours, and less in heavily touristed areas, it raised questions about how stable
Thailand’s power supply really is. Rumors quickly spread on social-networking sites that the government might have turned off the
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power on purpose as a ploy to legitimize controversial plans to construct more coal-fired power plants in southern Thailand, which
residents and environmentalists vigorously oppose.
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, though, blamed a faulty high-voltage cable along the main transmission route from
central Thailand to the south.
Despite the panic and widespread complaints, some foreign tourists were said to be somewhat enjoying the short-lived chaotic night.
For many, it was rare opportunity to view the waxing moon and the brightness of the stars without any light pollution from
increasingly busy holiday sites.
FTI wants answers after outage Bangkok Post 23 May 2013
Business leaders yesterday demanded compensation from authorities for firms affected by Tuesday's massive power outage, while
the Energy Ministry ordered a review of the emergency decision-making process.
Tanit Sorat, a vice-chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), called on relevant agencies to determine the cause of the
outage quickly, saying clear explanations and preventive measures would ensure business confidence.
The blackout, which began at 5.30pm and lasted nearly four hours in some areas, affected 14 southern provinces and the business
and tourism spots in Songkhla, Phuket and Surat Thani.
Officials said power was fully restored before midnight.
Mr Tanit said the economic damage of the outage is estimated at 8-10 billion baht, with factory items suffering a loss of quality.
Condoms, for example, could show defects after being shipped to customers abroad.
"A loss estimate is needed for the industrial and other affected sectors, and whoever is responsible for the damage should be
identified," he said.
He also recommended that an SMS emergency call centre be set up in order to prevent the public from panicking when access to
government agencies is cut off.
The FTI said key industries in the South such as rubber and seafood processing were hurt by the blackout.
Songkhla and Pattani provinces were hit by a two-hour outage starting at 6.30pm, while Satun's outage lasted four hours.
Two separate blackouts were reported in Surat Thani before power was restored by midnight.
Frozen seafood makers, based mainly in Songkhla, Satun, Surat Thani, Ranong and Pattani, have their own generators, but these
are insufficient to serve the production lines.
Rubber glove factories in Songkhla and Surat Thani also saw significant damage from the sudden shutdown, as they normally
operate continuously over 24 hours.
"The damage to tourism remains unclear, but communicating to the public is a must in order to restore confidence," added Mr Tanit.
Charoen Wangananont, secretary-general of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, said the cost of the two-hour blackout in
Phangnga and Phuket provinces was minimal.
Even so, he said the government must ensure the problem does not recur, as that would erode tourists' confidence.
Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal has ordered utilities and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to review the
decision-making process during the outage.
"I have instructed the authorities to make it clear which processes must be taken in order to prevent this incident from happening
again," said Mr Pongsak.
The ERC, meanwhile, is considering the possibility of offering compensation in the form of adjusted fuel tariffs.
Thana Putarungsi, deputy governor of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, said one cause of the outage was the
maintenance shutdown of the Khanom and Bang Lang power plants with a combined capacity of 562 megawatts.
Power consumption in the South peaked at 2,200 MW on Tuesday. Southern power plants have a combined capacity of 1,600 MW,
with the rest supplied by generators in central Thailand.
Thawee Piyapatana, the president of Pacific Fish Processing Co and an FTI vice-chairman, said the blackout clearly showed power
supply in the South is inadequate and that the state should find ways to develop more supply.
"The government must educate local people about technology with minimal environmental impact so power plants can be built in the
South," he said.
PM denies blackout plot Bangkok Post 23 May 2013
Yingluck rejects power plants push accusation
The massive blackout in the South on Tuesday night was not a deliberate act to justify building new coal-fired power plants in the
South, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra says.
Before leaving for an official visit to Japan yesterday, Ms Yingluck assured the blackout was not an act of sabotage designed to
ensure the government could push new power plants on the region.
However, she said increased electricity generation would still be needed to serve growing power demand there. New power plants
would be studied carefully and designed to minimise the negative impacts on local people.
"I admit I was shocked because the incident was unprecedented. We do not want another regional blackout in the South because it
affects tourism and the public," Ms Yingluck said.
Korn Chatikavanij, deputy leader of the Democrat Party, said southern people were wondering if the blackout was part of a
government plan to convince them to accept new power plants.
He questioned if the government really had no back-up generation systems to serve power demand in the South in the event of a
power transmission line outage from the Central Plains to the region, such as the one which occurred on Tuesday night.
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Sutat Patmasiriwat, governor of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat), said the outage in 14 southern provinces late
on Tuesday was caused by the failure of a high-voltage transmission line linking the Central Plains with Bang Saphan in Prachuap
Khiri Khan, the main power transmission line from the Central Region to the South.
There are four transmission lines, comprising two 500-kilovolt (kV) and two 230kV lines.
One of the two 500kV lines was under repair early on Tuesday while another 500kV line was out of service, the result of a lightning
Power transmission in the area relied completely on the 230kV lines which were too small to handle the load, leading to the
He said Egat has appointed a committee to investigate the blackout's cause. The result will be known within a week.
At present, power plants in the South have inadequate capacity to serve demand, so the region is partially supplied by generators
located in the Central region.
On Tuesday, power demand was recorded at 2,200 megawatts while the southern power plants have a combined capacity of
Power plants at the Khanom, Chana and Ratchaprapa dams were out of service on that day.
Egat solved the outage by ordering all power plants, including the diesel-powered unit in Surat Thani, to boost production to the
maximum and acquired an additional 200MW from Malaysia. The power supply was fully restored at 11pm.
"Electricity demand in the South is growing by 6% a year on average especially in the areas along the Andaman coastline. The
region still relies partially on power supply from the Central Plains while the geography of Prachuap Khiri Khan makes it difficult to
deliver the power to the South, all of which poses high risks to power supply in the region," Mr Sutat said.
Mr Sutat said Egat plans to develop more power plants and upgrade the transmission lines in the South. A second Chana power
plant is under construction and will come on stream next year while the expansion of the Krabi power plant is under study with a plan
to fuel it with imported coal.
"Additional high-voltage transmission lines are being developed. These will minimise the risks of power supply disruption in the long
term," he said.
Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal said an investigation will be carried out to find the cause of the blackout.
He ordered all state utility firms and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to review the decision-making process in
"We admit this outage caused widespread impacts. We need to look into it and find ways to prevent it from happening again," he
An ERC source said if the two coal-fired power plants once proposed for Bo Nok and Hin Krut with a combined capacity of 2,100MW
had not been scrapped because of protests, such an outage would not have occurred.
Pongsak orders revamp of decision-making process to cope with crisis Bangkok Post 22 May 2013
The energy minister has reasons to upset about the southern power outage, as no one at the electricity supplying agencies made
the decision to save the region.
Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal on Wednesday ordered the electricity agencies and the regulator to come up with a better
chain of command in the wake of the blanket blackout throughout the southern region.
Mr Pongsak was apparently unhappy about the outage, as no officials of the Electricity Generating of Thailand (Egat) and the
Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) stepped up to make decisions after learning of the short supply of power to the South.
They should have quickly ordered blackouts in some areas to save the entire region, but they failed, he said at a meeting called to
assess the situation.
"I've ordered the agencies and the regulator to review the decision-making process to make clear the line of command so that what
happened will not be repeated," the minister said.
Thana Putarungsi, the Egat deputy governor in charge of transmission system, said authority to make the decision rested on the
Energy Regulatory Commission. "Regulators have to authorise what areas are to be blacked out until the supply from the plants
returns to normal," he said.
Pallapa Ruangrong, a commission member, said investigations will be launched on the case and consumers will be compensated in
The blackout on Tuesday was the worst since May 18, 1978, when the entire country was in the dark after a power supply failure.
The outage began at 6.52pm on Tuesday. Some areas were restored at 9pm. Power returned to the rest of the region by 11.45pm.
All provinces south of Surat Thani to the Malaysian border were affected, including popular tourist centres such as Hat Yai and
The cause of the problem was a fault on two high-voltage cables - each carrying 500 kilovolts (kV) - in Ratchaburi province, officials
Two other cables rated at 230 kV also failed.
Electricity workerswere repairing a 500-kV cable when lightning hit the other one, completely shutting down the feed of the two main
lines to the region, they added.
Exact damages from the blackout are being assessed. It could cost the food and rubber processing sector about 10 billion baht, and
the government must ensure it does not happen again, Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) secretary-general Tanit Sorat said on
Mr Tanit said fisheries, rubber and frozen food producers were all immediately affected as they need electricity for processing
machinery and to store their goods.
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There were no exact details of the cost to industry, but in the long run the problem would affect exports in these sectors as their
products would not stay fresh without power.
Most freezing plants are located in Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla, Trang, Pattani and Satun provinces, he said.
Charoen Wangananont, secretary general of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, said there was a blackout in Phang Nga and
Phuket for about two hours. Its impact was minimal, but the government must make sure the problem does not occur again because
it would erode tourists' confidence, he said.
Management of both Hat Yai and Phuket airports confirmed their airports were not affected by the blackout. Their backup electricity
supply took over immediately the power outage occurred.
The emergency systems could provide 24 hours of electricity, but to ensure there was no possible problem in the future they had
ordered an increase in capacity.
Somchart Pimtanapoonporn, chairman of the Association of Hat Yai-Songkhla Hoteliers, said tourism businesses such as major
hotels in Hat Yai were not affected by the blackout because they all have backup electricity generators.
There was also an unexpected benefit. The power outage forced tourists to return early to their hotels and business boomed, with
restaurants and bars inside the buildings all crowded, said Mr Somchart.
Witoon Simachokedee, permanent secretary for industry, said damage to factories was estimated at 400 million baht in five
provinces, with Surat Thani, Chumphon and Krabi hardest hit, according to an Mcot radio report.
Dusit looks to foreign shores The Nation 27 May 2013
(Edited article – see the full text here)
Between now and 2015, Dusit International plans to begin operating 12 new properties via management contracts in five nations.
Over the next five years, it expects to have 50 hotels in its portfolio, half of them in Asia.
Currently, the firm operates 17 properties, mainly in Thailand and owned by the company. It expects that over the next five years, the
number of properties it owns and those it operates via management contracts will be almost equal. It is also looking to expand its
chain in Thailand, especially in secondary provinces such as Khon Kaen and Phuket, as well as on Koh Samui.
Fast-growing' destination The Nation 23 May 2013
Thailand remains a popular leisure and backpacker destination for many Europeans seeking to escape the cold winter at home,
according to Hotels.com's Hotel Price Index (HPI). The tourism industry continues to be an important part of the Thai economy. The
country was hit badly by the floods of 2011 but has bounced back with an increase in international tourist arrivals last year, making
Thailand one of the fastest-growing countries for the travel and hospitality industry.
Bangkok remains the most popular Thai destination for overseas travellers in both the leisure and business sectors. Tourists also
travel down to the southern beach resorts and islands. This area accounted for three of the six top HPI destinations, with the islands
of Phuket and Samui ranked at Nos 2 and 3 and Krabi at No 5. The last three places in the table were filled by Koh Pha-ngan, home
to the full-moon parties, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Tao.
The North is the main region for trekking and adventure travel with its forested mountains, and Chiang Mai reached No 6 in the 2012
"International tourism is on the rise in Asia," said Rajiv Malhotra, head of marketing, Southeast Asia, Hotels.com. "Looking forward,
two mega-trends are affecting Asia positively in 2013 and beyond: the continued rise of Chinese outbound travellers and the
increase in low-cost carriers across Asia. China stayed top of the source countries, followed by Malaysia, Japan, Russia and South
"Thailand is one of the fasting-growing countries as a top tourist destination, with 21 million foreign visitors in 2012. Travellers from
all over the world seek out Thailand for its weather, cultural attractions, and variety of travel destinations, with Bangkok and Phuket
ranked as the most popular destinations for travellers from [mainland] China, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand."
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