Chinese Students Fan Profit at Bangkok School Criticized for IPO

(Bloomberg) -- Chinese enrollments are helping to buoy profits at Thailand’s only listed school operator.

SISB Pcl, or Singapore International School of Bangkok, sees 2018 net income at the high end of expectations in part because of a jump in Chinese student numbers, Chief Executive Officer Kelvin Koh said.

A former Thai finance minister has said the school should lose tax breaks aimed at spurring investment in private-sector education, given that listed firms seek to maximize shareholder returns. Koh said the proceeds from the share sale can help SISB expand its campus and pay for new technology.

"Whether we’re listed or not listed, we should be treated the same as other schools," Koh said in an interview in Bangkok.

Chinese Students Fan Profit at Bangkok School Criticized for IPO

Koh said he’s looking at options for expansion into nations such as Vietnam and Myanmar. SISB owns and operates four schools in the Thai capital and has a joint venture in Chiang Mai, for a total student count of 2,400.

About 85 percent of students are Thai, with the rest from countries led by Singapore and China. The English-language curriculum is partly based on the Singaporean system. Annual fees are "mid-tier" for international schools in Thailand, in the range of $10,000 to $20,000, Koh said.

Finansia Syrus Securities Pcl, which managed the share sale, forecasts net income of 97 million baht ($3.1 million) in 2018 and almost double that for this year. The stock has climbed about 8 percent since listing, while the overall Thai stock market fell 0.2 percent.

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