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Rise in corporate loans buoys KBank outlook on economy

Aug 10. 2017
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By The Nation

KBank’s Corporate Business Division saw large loans rise by 8 per cent in the first half of this year, it reported on Thursday.

Loans for energy, agro-processing and property projects did particularly well. 

The division expects the economy to continue to expand in the second half, driven by public investments and exports, which may add 4-6 per cent to large corporate business loans and not less than 3 per cent to total revenue. 

Executive vice president Suwat Techawatanawana cited “satisfactory” growth in outstanding loans of Bt553.7 billion, up 8 percent year on year, from Bt511.7 billion, and total income of Bt12.2 billion, also up 8 per cent, with interest income of Bt4.959 billion and fee income of Bt5.982 billion. 

As well as the industries recording significant growth in 1H, the power sector surged – driven by demand for energy and especially renewable energy – and large investments were made accordingly. 

Agro-processing and property both grew, with key support from food processing and property investments via such models as REIT and debentures.

In the second half of 2017, the Thai economy may be buoyed further by government investment projects that are becoming “more tangible”, Suwat said, such as the Eastern Economic Corridor programme that connects with Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, and the first high-speed railway from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima, part of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

Other infrastructure projects are likely to be approved before the next general election, he noted, and exports have fared better than expected thanks to global economic growth.

Suwat added that, given several brighter economic indicators and a promising trend in the business sector during 2H, growth in large corporate loans is expected to reach the 4-6-per-cent year-on-year target, with total revenue projected to grow by not less than 3 per cent.

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