Thursday, January 11, 2018

F&N STOCK: AN UPDATE

F&N stock
Dear readers, I have recently received a copy of the 2017 F&N Annual Report. Of all stocks which I have, F&N Annual Report is the one which I look forward to receiving yearly. You know that it is a F&N Annual Report when you are presented with a A4 copy of solid and colourful booklet filled with vibrant and refreshing pictures in very good quality paper. The packaging material of F&N Annual Report is equally wonderful and impressive. As unlike most paper envelopes for Annual Reports, F&N Annual Reports are packed in resilient A4 plastic cover, so that when you hold F&N Annual Report in your hand, this report looks indeed crispy indeed. Not surprising since F&N has a priniting and publishing business!
My quick glance at the Annual Report of F&N focuses on the growth direction of F&N. From what I have read, the growth drivers of F&N stock are derived from three fronts. First, on continuously growing of the group’s beverage business, for which I am glad that the Group is aligning more to the non-carbonated and non-sugary beverages (since consumers are getting more and more health conscious). Second but more strategically, F&N is looking forward to reaping more value from its stake in Vinamilk: Vietnam’s larget dairy business since F&N has become one of the substantial stakeholders in Vinamilk. Last but not least, the Food segment of F&N. From last year’s perusal of the Annual Report, I am looking forward to details of the food retail business which F&N has its focus on acquiring but glancing at the annual report, there is still not much significant updates from there.

From those who have been to F&N Annual General Meeting at least for last year, I am not sure whether you share with me this observation. But for most companies, the CEO or equivalents will be sitting along with the Board members on stage. However for F&N’s AGM, the arrangement is not really as aforementioned. This is not surprising since apart from Mr Chaoren, Thai’s richest man as the Chairman of F&N Group, not many people know that there are actually four CEOs under F&N, for non-alcoholic beverages, Beer, Food and Publishing and Printing each. And the CEOs were actually seated at the front row on the floor for last year’s AGM, answering questions only when required. The key man of F&N Board is actually Mr Koh Poh Tiong who is the advisor of the Group and a Board Member. As far as I could recall from the F&N AGMs which I attended, he helped facilitate the AGM speaking in English since most of the other substantial shareholders are Thais.

Based on the F&N Annual report, the four CEOs of F&N Group earned a renumeration of between $887,140 to $1,301,732 for the past fiscal year As for advisor Mr Koh Poh Tiong, he earned an impressive renumeration of $2,127,694 comprising $1,819,000 being fees for services provided as adviser to the F&N Board for the past fiscal year. I thought that it is not bad a renumeration as an advisor to a listed company!
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