Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Thursday (May 26) that Japan will resume welcoming foreign tourists on June 10 as the country continues to relax COVID-19 border restrictions, according to local media.
Kishida made the announcement during an international event in Tokyo, in advance of Japan’s decision to double the daily entry limitation to 20,000 beginning next Wednesday. Initial tourism arrivals will be restricted to guided tour groups to avoid the risk of disease transmission.
Japan will allow tourists from 98 nations and territories considered to have the lowest coronavirus positivity rates. The United States, South Korea, China and Thailand will be included.
Even if they are not COVID-19-vaccinated, visitors from the lowest-risk group will not be required to undergo virus testing or self-quarantine.
KTBST Securities is positive about this announcement and believes it would boost some stocks, particularly those related to the country’s reopening. Top picks are AOT, AAV and GFPT.
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of Thai visitors to Japan in 2019 was around 2 million, ranking sixth among all foreign visitors behind China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the United States.
Airports of Thailand Pcl. (SET: AOT); KTBST anticipates a recovery in the number of international visitors. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of foreign passengers on flights from Japan ranked fourth, behind China, India, and South Korea.
In the second half of 2022 (Apr.-Sept.), AOT’s losses are expected to narrow to THB10 billion, down from THB15 billion in 2021 due to the relaxation of travel restrictions in several countries. And from October, AOT will generate a profit of THB6.8 billion, maintaining a “BUY” rating with a target price of THB76.00.
Asia Aviation Pcl. (SET: AAV); In the third quarter of 2022, the airline plans to launch a new route to Fukuoka, Japan. KTBST anticipates that AAV’s full-year losses will decrease year-over-year to THB4.5 billion, and that the company’s second-half growth prospects will become more visible.
The number of passengers is anticipated to increase by 207% year-over-year to 9 million in 2022, and KTBST has revised AVV’s revenues to THB903 million. Recommend a “BUY” rating with a target price of THB3.40.
GFPT Pcl. (SET: GFPT); Japan is one of the most key markets for Thai chicken exporters, accounting for 48% of all Thai chicken exports. In 2021, GFPT’s export of chicken to Japan accounted for 11% of its total revenue and 48 % of its export sector revenue.
The reopening of Japan will raise the demand for chicken, which will favor Thailand’s poultry exporters. Recommend a “BUY” rating with a target price of THB17.80.