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Australian export credit agency, EFIC, has provided a Thai baht Bt300mn (A$10mn) export finance guarantee to DBS Thai Danu Bank Public Company Limited (DBS) to support Australian operator Oceanis Holding Limited’s Bt1bn project to develop the Siam Ocean World aquarium in Bangkok.

The Siam Ocean World Aquarium will reinforce Oceanis” position as Asia Pacific’s largest owner and operator of aquariums. It will be the first aquarium in Bangkok and will cater for up to 15,000 visitors per day.

The aquarium will be located on the lower levels of the giant Siam Paragon shopping and leisure complex in Bangkok’s main shopping district. The complex and aquarium will be developed concurrently and are scheduled to open in December 2005.

“This is the first time Oceanis has undertaken business in Thailand. EFIC’s assistance has enabled us to continue to grow our market in Asia, which is part of our worldwide expansion programme,” said Oceanis’s managing director, Peter O”Brien.

Experienced key management from Oceanis will relocate to Thailand to oversee the project implementation and aquarium operation.

Craig Scullin, director at the Australian ECA says that EFIC was keen to work with a Thai bank as this “enabled the finance to be provided in Thai baht, matching the project’s revenue stream and thereby eliminating foreign currency risk.”