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KBank eyes business expansion in Laos

Nov 23. 2018
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By The Nation

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As part of the key strategy to expand businesses within AEC+3, KBank is now ready to tap into Lao PDR through numerous services and local partnership arrangements, the company said in a press release issued on Friday.


For 2019, targets have been set to bolster loans to Bt3 billion, deposits to Bt2 billion and trade finance transactions to Bt18 billion. 

KBank has exhibited outstanding operating performance in Laos over the past four years without any NPL customer and is also set to expand the customer base in Laos, as well, the company said.

Pattanapong Tansomboon, KBank First Senior Vice President, said the performance of KasikornThaiBank in Lao PDR, is based on three strategies to expand businesses within AEC+3. They include the opening of branches or offices in the forms of a locally incorporate institutions (LII), foreign bank branches (FBB) and representative offices. 

The bank has established LIIs in Laos and China, a branch in Cambodia and representative offices in Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Japan, as well as strategic partnership with Bank Maspion. The other two strategies are the expansion of the digital platform, focusing on providing services via digital channels, and the establishment of strategic partnerships with local financial institutions. 

Lao PDR is one of the most important targets to enhance a service linkage under KBank’s strategy to create a service network of this region, the company said. 

KBank in Laos, registered as a locally incorporated institution, has been in business for four years. The first branch – Pone Si Nuan Branch – was opened in 2014 with 13 officers, before the Headquarters official opening in 2017 at Lane Xang Avenue, now having more than 60 officers. 

The company said those offices have reported continual growth in their performance, including the annual growth of loans, deposits and trade finance transactions at 73 per cent, 29 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively, over the past four years. 

In 2018, the targets for loans, deposits and trade finance transactions are Bt2.4 billion, Bt1.6 billion and Bt13 billion, respectively. As a result of the efficient risk control and management, there is no NPL customer at all, the company said.

Pattanapong added that due to the opportunities granted by the Laotian government for domestic and foreign businesses to take part in a number of important projects, the economy of Laos has flourished. 

Given the country’s growth potential, KBank has set up the targets of loans, deposits and trade finance transactions to reach Bt3billion, Bt2 billion and Bt18 billion, respectively, in 2019. KBank’s lending structure in Lao PDR consists of diverse customer groups, namely the sectors of government, agriculture, construction, commerce, transport, hire-purchase, and food and beverage at 33 per cent, 19 per cent, 15 per cent, 10 per cent, 10 per cent, 8 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively. Lending portions to local, government and Thai business sectors stand at 38 percent, 33 percent and 29 percent, respectively.

In addition, the company said KBank has expanded services for The Wisdom customers, with a minimum of Bt10 million, six-month fixed deposit, which has received positive feedback. Being the first and only commercial bank that provides such services, KBank has gained a larger number of these valued customers.

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