Chinese students fan profit at Bangkok school

By BLOOMBERG

BANGKOK • Chinese enrolments 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, CEO 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 companies seek to maximi se 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,” he said in an interview in Bangkok.

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% 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 US$10,000 to US$20,000 (RM81,710), Koh said.

Finansia Syrus Securities pcl, which managed the share sale, forecasts net income of 97 million baht (RM12.67 million) in 2018 and almost double that for this year. The stock has climbed about 8% since listing. — Bloomberg