* Sees cement capacity up 20 pct by 2016
* Plan to double cement capacity in Indonesia, Myanmar over
* 2014 capex may be as high as 60 bln baht vs 2013's record
50 bln baht
(Adds capex, Vietnam investment)
By Khettiya Jittapong and Wilawan Pongpitak
BANGKOK, March 27 Siam Cement PCL,
Thailand's largest industrial conglomerate, aims to boost cement
production and sales in Southeast Asia to offset a slowdown at
home where political unrest has delayed spending on
Siam Cement, which also produces chemicals and paper, has
been building cement factories in the fast-emerging economies of
Cambodia, Indonesia and Myanmar where an infrastructure bonanza
has pushed up demand for construction materials.
At home in Thailand, sales have slowed because of a decline
in rebuilding demand after widespread flooding in 2011, and have
been exacerbated by the prospect of clashes between supporters
of the prime minister and protesters who allege corruption.
Siam Cement projects domestic cement demand growth of 2
percent to 3 percent this year, from 7 percent last year. That
compares with the annual growth it projects in the Association
of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) of 7 percent to 8 percent.
"If political crisis is prolonged, Thai cement demand is
likely to be negative," Chief Executive Kan Trakulhoon said at
the Reuters ASEAN Summit on Thursday.
"ASEAN will be a growth platform for the world economy. Its
attractiveness has increased significantly after Myanmar was
included," Kan said at the summit.
Myanmar is emerging from decades of military rule and
isolating sanctions and has been looking to attract foreign
investment since a quasi-civilian government took office in
2011. This year, the country is chairing ASEAN for the first
Siam Cement's ASEAN assets reached $2.2 billion last year,
or 16 percent of the total from 5 percent in 2008. The company
aims for ASEAN sales to reach 30 percent from 20 percent by
2018, Kan said.
ASEAN is made up of Thailand and the hosts of its three new
factories, plus Brunei, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines,
Singapore and Vietnam.
Siam Cement aims to begin production at the new factories
over the next two years, raising overall capacity by 20 percent
from 24 million tonnes now, Kan said.
The company then plans to double capacity in Indonesia and
Myanmar within five years of beginning production, Kan said.
"We are investing more in ASEAN and less in Thailand, where
we focus on high value-added products," Kan said.
Capital expenditure could be as high as 60 billion baht
($1.84 billion) this year, beyond the 40 billion baht to 50
billion baht range previously announced, Kan said. That would
compare with last year's record 50 billion baht.
A large chunk of those funds is destined for ASEAN
countries, Kan said. In Vietnam, for instance, the company
expects to start building a $4.5 billion petrochemical complex
in early 2015, to be completed in 2018.
Siam Cement is a century old and 30 percent owned by the
Thai royal family's Crown Property Bureau investment arm.
The company is ASEAN's second-largest cement maker by
capacity after Swiss Holcim Ltd, and is the region's
biggest producer of downstream chemicals for plastics.
Shares of Siam Cement, valued at $15 billion, have fallen 12
percent over the past 12 months, versus an 11 percent fall in
the benchmark index.
Follow Reuters Summits on Twitter @Reuters_Summits
($1 = 32.5700 Thai Baht)
(Additiongal reporting by Tripti Kalro in Bangalore; Editing by