U City Jumps 26%, Setting to Divest All Property Portfolio to Focus on Financial Services

U City edged 26% higher in the morning session in hopes for the transformation of its business into financial services to become BTS Group's financial arm

The share price of U City Public Company Limited (U) rose ฿0.29/share or 26.36% to ฿1.39/share in the morning session on September 1, 2021, with a trading value of 2,539 million baht.

Mr. Kavin Kanjanapas, Chief Executive Officer of BTS Group Holdings Public Company Limited (BTS), stated that U City Public Company Limited (U), a 36.22 percent-owned subsidiary of the company, is in the process of transforming its business into financial services in order to become BTS Group’s financial arm.

U opted to divest its real estate and hotel portfolio due to the spread of COVID-19, which rendered the future of tourism uncertain. According to Mr. Kavin, the real estate market is unlikely to recover in the next few years. As a result, BTS aims to turn U into the group’s financial arm.

U expected to earn around 40 billion baht from the disposal of its hotel properties and an additional 26 billion baht from the sale of remaining assets, which include two hotels in Poland and the Czech Republic, as well as rental buildings in England.

The proceeds from the asset sale will be invested in Jay Mart Public Company Limited (JMART) and Singer (Thailand) Public Company Limited (SINGER) totaling 12 billion baht, as well as in life insurance businesses in Advance Life Insurance Public Company Limited (A LIFE) totaling 2 billion baht.

U reported a loss of 448.73 million baht in the second quarter of 2021, compared to a loss of 6,610.75 million baht in 2020. However, because the hotel activities were suspended, the company expects to return to profitability in 2022. 

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