Thailand’s Minor woos Singaporeans

Despite its name, there is nothing small about the Minor Group, which plans to attract Singaporeans to invest in Thailand’s luxury property sector as well as expand its presence in Singapore.

With gross revenues of over S$1 billion, Minor is one of Thailand’s largest hotels and resorts operators with over 70 properties, and also one of the country’s largest fast-food operators, with over 1,200 outlets across 23 countries.

At present, Singapore accounts for about 10 per cent of Minor’s total revenue, largely from sales at outlets like The Coffee Club and Thai Express, which ironically was sold to the Thai-listed company by Singaporeans Grace Goh and Ivan Lee, who founded the chain in 2002.

“We plan to grow these and are looking at opportunities elsewhere in the hospitality sector,” said Mr James Knowles, the company’s Vice-President for Sales and Marketing.

He is also looking for Singaporeans interested in investing in the Thai real estate market, especially in the high-end sector that Minor specialises in.

“There appears to be a growing demand for Thai real estate from Singapore. Many of the Singaporeans who stay in our hotels in Thailand often enquire about the property market here, not only in Bangkok but elsewhere in the country,” he said. “People have forgotten last year’s floods and the Thai property market remains robust. Chiang Mai is blistering.”

Mr Knowles was here over the weekend to market three of the group’s developments – The Residences at The St Regis Bangkok, The Estates Samui adjacent to the Four Seasons Resort in Koh Samui and The Residences at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai.

At the St Regis, where 75 per cent of the 53 units have already been sold, prices start from S$3 million for the 30-year leasehold properties. While rental yields at the St Regis are not spectacular, averaging around 4 per cent a year, the returns on the villas in Chiang Mai and Koh Samui can be over 10 per cent a year, Mr Knowles said.

Source : Today – 23 Nov 2012

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