By The Nation
Exim Thailand president Pisit Serewiwattana said that the persistence of Covid-19 across the world had hindered economic activities in almost all sectors. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank have predicted global GDP contraction of 4.9 per cent and 5.2 per cent in 2020 respectively, the highest contraction in more than 90 years.
Such drastic global economic contraction has dampened Thai export, particularly that of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are normally vulnerable to surrounding uncertainties and crises, as reflected in SMEs' export value shrinkage of 17.9 per cent in the first six months of 2020, which was higher than a 7.1 per cent shrinkage in total Thai export value in the same period of the previous year.
Exim Thailand therefore has launched "Post-Covid-19 Business Rehabilitation for Entrepreneurs Scheme" to assist, support and take care of four groups of clients based on their requirements. They are:
▪︎Entrepreneurs with growth prospects:
Exim Thailand will "support" them to ensure their liquidity adequacy and consistent loan repayment capability.
▪︎Entrepreneurs with decline in revenues but continuity in business operation:
Exim Thailand will "relax" loan conditions to enable them to fully settle debts or request new credit facilities.
▪︎Entrepreneurs requiring extension of loan repayment period:
Exim Thailand will "extend" loan repayment period or partially restructure principal and interest payment for them pending their post-crisis recovery.
▪︎Entrepreneurs with shortage of liquidity for business operation:
Exim Thailand will "sustain" their businesses by way of debt restructuring for them, which will help slow down non-performing loan.
Exim Thailand's clients may apply for extension of loan repayment period, change in loan conditions to suit their business operation, and additional credit lines from August 3 until December 31, 2021.
He added that Exim Thailand had kept itself abreast with the Covid-19 situation and itself found that over 20 per cent of its clients earlier granted suspension of principal and interest payment for up to six months since February 2020 have yet to be able to make instalment payment of principal and interest. They would like the bank to relax loan conditions and extend the loan repayment period.
Some of them can further operate their businesses but additional capital is needed, while others still lack liquidity for their continued operation. Exim Thailand said it was ready to fulfil their liquidity requirement and carry out debt restructuring for them as required.