Showbiz orgs storm market

Matching, RS, EGV stocks go public

BANGKOK — The increasingly prosperous Thai showbiz industry is seeing a rush of key entertainment players listing on the country’s stock market.

Television advertising production house Matching Studio, No. 2 entertainment company RS Promotion and the second-largest exhibitor, EGV Entertainment, went public in May and June, joining pioneers like GMM Grammy, BEC World and Major Cineplex.

Currently, RS Promotion seems to be the favorite among investors, due to its diversified operations in music, film and TV production. Its domestic and foreign film successes also made investors confident.

EGV has posted only modest gains since its listing in June, due to greater funding restrictions. The new funds will be used mainly for cinema openings and digital cinema development.

Matching Studio opened its production subsidiary, Matching Motion Pictures, with a Hong Kong-Thai production “Se-oui,” directed by new female directors and mainly aimed for export. It also plans to establish a movie town in Thailand providing production services.

Other entertainment moguls are making preparations to offer shares. In the second half of this year, variety show organizer BEC Tero Entertainment and exhibitor SF Cinema will join the party. Film producer-distributors Mongkol Cinema and Tai Entertainment and post-production lab Kantana Group also have shown interest.

But not all companies will get a piece of the stock market bonanza. Success depends on the type of business. “It will be a positive sign for theater operators and multientertainment companies,” says Suttatip Peerasub, an analyst at Kim Eng Securities (Thailand). “Theater operators’ listings are still performing well because movies are doing well this year. Also, exhibition is the best way to get the fastest cash flow.”

She predicts several listed entertainment firms will enjoy more than 10% growth in full-year net profit, including Major Cineplex, which will post a 49% gain.

But producers and distributors might not reap such rich rewards, since these areas are significantly more risky. Suttatip adds, “There is no guarantee which films are going perform at the box office, which could cause investors to avoid these risk-taking opportunities.”

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