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Bangkok Airways offers winter in the sun

Samui – Phangan Travel Fair

Bangkok Airways executives are looking forward to the new direct connection between Chiang Mai and Koh Samui.

Shana Kongmun
For those who want warmer climes this time of year Bangkok Airways sponsored a travel fair at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel on Monday, December 2, 2013 attended by hotels and travel agents from Koh Samui and Koh Phangan as well as Bangkok Airways executives. The event was held to celebrate the launch of new daily direct flights to Koh Samui that started on December 1. The Head of the Phangan Hotels Association as well as the Tourism Authority of Thailand Samui head joined Varong Israsena na Ayudhya, Director of Sales for Bangkok Airways at the Fair.
Hotels and business from around Chiang Mai attended the event looking to make connections with island businesses. Bangkok Airways direct flight departs Chiang Mai daily at 12:50 p.m. arriving in Samui at 2:35 p.m. The return flight from Koh Samui departs at 10:20 a.m. and arrives in Chiang Mai at 12:10 p.m. The new service started December 1, 2013
Bangkok Airways has also started a new Bangkok – Udon Thani flight which will fly twice daily to service this growing area, a third flight will be added in February.


Big Bikes roar into town at the Realbiker Custom Bike show

The Realbiker Custom Bike Show was held at 700 Years Stadiumon December 8, 2013 from noon to midnight and as the roars of big bikes swept through town, aficionados headed off to the Stadium to check out the big bikes and of course the pretty girls. Custom bikes, hot rods, big bikes, custom paint, hot rods and custom cars were all on display as well. Sponsored by Richco, Ducati, Triumph, Warm Up Café, BMW, CFM and many others the show was well attended by everyone, not just jean and leather clad bikers although they were in supply as well. The event also featured live music, food and tattoos. (Photo courtesy of ZART)


Best investment options for smartphone companies

By Don Freeman
Since I’m in the investment business, it’s also important to look at each smartphone as a possible investment. Samsung is a little harder to invest in because it trades on the Korean Stock Exchange. It trades in the US on the OTC market, but the volume is very low.
That pretty much leaves me to decide between Apple, Nokia and Blackberry. All are value plays instead of growth plays. Apple’s growth in my opinion has peaked and it is no longer a growth stock. Investors have to look at the stock from a valuation perspective. In that regard, it is an incredibly cheap stock. Take into account that the company has $137 billion in cash and growing every day. Last year the company’s net income was $41.75 billion! A company making that amount of money with a P/E less than 10 and safe to say I’m interested. Plus the stock is down 35% in the last year. I like buying good quality companies on pullbacks.
BlackBerry or Research In Motion stock has been in a free fall for the past 5 years. The stock peaked in 2008 above $140 and traded under $10 for much of 2012. However, the stock has rebounded this year on optimism for the new BlackBerry 10.
BlackBerry’s patents are estimated to be worth $2.25 billion. The company right now has a market cap of about $7.57 billion at $14.69 a share. The company also has $2.65 billion in cash and no debt. If the patents are worth $2.25 billion and there’s $2.65 billion in cash, that means you are getting a business that had revenues of $11.07 billion for only $2.67 billion.
Nokia, like BlackBerry, has a valuable patent portfolio and has been working to monetize that portfolio. Nokia actually sued BlackBerry for patent infringement and received a one-time payment of $65 million plus recurring royalty payments. Nokia is further aided in the patent wars with its 15 year patent licensing agreement with Qualcomm. It is estimated that out of Nokia’s $39.07 billion in revenue, $600 million comes from patent royalty income. This makes Nokia’s patent portfolio worth more than BlackBerry’s.
In terms of valuation, Nokia has $13.13 billion in cash and debt of $7.25 billion. That leaves $5.88 billion plus an estimated $4 billion for the patents and that gives you $9.88 billion. At $3.52 per share, Nokia has a market cap of $13.06 billion, you’re getting a $39.07 billion in revenues company for only $3.18 billion.
In the end Apple’s brand makes it probably the best long-term investment for investors. But at $430 a share, it is a pricey investment. For investors that are looking to take more of a gamble, Nokia and BlackBerry present an attractive opportunity. Their stock performance will depend on who emerges and becomes the number 3 smartphone. Right now BlackBerry and Nokia are battling it out with their new phones and a winner has yet to be declared.
I have held off for years buying a smart phone but last month took the plunge and am very impressed with the Samsung Galaxy S4. I call it a phone but it is really a small powerful computer that is making my life easier to connect with friends and clients.
If you would like to discuss smartphones or investing in the space, feel free to give me a call, email or Skype. I’m available anytime to discuss this article and investment strategy.
Don Freeman is president of Freeman Capital Management, a Registered Investment Advisor with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), based in Phuket, Thailand. He has over 15 years experience and provides personal financial planning and wealth management to expatriates. Specializing in UK and US pension transfers. Call 089-970-5795 or email: [email protected]


First ever CNXP focuses on film, technology, and music

Entrepreneurs and artists lecture at workshops

Organizers Orarick Sriwong, Smith Taweelerdniti and Martin Venzky-Stalling explain the concept of CNXP at Warm Up Café on December 6, 2013.

Shana Kongmun
CNXP, organized by the Chiang Mai Creative City Committee, STEP at CMU and local businesses held the first annual CNXP or Chiang Mai Experience event at Warm Up Café on December 6 and 7. Day time saw varied groups of people gather to hear lectures on subjects as varied as 3D printing by Volker Unland, Restaurant Review apps by Yod Chinsupakkan, Indie music and visual art by Sumet Yodkaew, 2D and 3D animation by Jakkarun Chai-in.
The experts came from businesses as varied as Creative Kingdom, Minimal Gallery, Lunarcraft as well as freelance photographers, musicians and videographers and saw over 40 speakers from Thailand, Europe and Vietnam take part as well.
CNXP was based on South By Southwest held in Austin, Texas, United States every year and works to bring together freelancers, startups and innovators to exchange ideas. In addition to workshops live music programs were held in the evening featuring experimental ideas in entertainment.
One of the organizers, Orarick “Rick”Sriwong noted that this year is a test and that they plan on repeating it next year but volunteers are needed to help get organized. They are looking forward to feedback from participants to improve the CNXP experience next year.

People joined in workshops by musicians, technicians and more for the two day event.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Bangkok Airways offers winter in the sun

Big Bikes roar into town at the Realbiker Custom Bike show

Best investment options for smartphone companies

First ever CNXP focuses on film, technology, and music