FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Total returns of top 4 Thai banks dwarf regional benchmark

Investors have been rewarded.

Investors in Thailand's four largest public banks — Bangkok Bank PCL, Siam Commercial Bank PCL, Krung Thai Bank PCL and KASIKORNBANK PCL — have earned total returns comfortably beating the SNL Asia-Pacific Bank Index in the past five years as their profit surged along with swelling loan books.

According to a research note from SNL Financial, in the five years through Sept. 22, the banks generated total returns ranging from 112% to 234%, compared to a 44% gain in the SNL Asia-Pacific Bank Index in the same period.

The report said Krung Thai Bank and KASIKORNBANK led the pack with 234% and 230%, respectively.

Here's more from SNL Financial:

Thai banks have seen substantial growth in profit and lending since 2009. Total net loans at the top four banks jumped 66% to 6.517 trillion Thai baht at the end of June from 3.925 trillion baht at the end of 2009.

They reported a combined 87.74 billion baht in net profit for the first half, already more than their full-year profit of 68.52 billion baht in 2009.

Among the four, Siam Commercial Bank posted the biggest jump in loans during the period. The bank's loan book grew 86.6% to 1.677 trillion baht at the end of June from 898.98 billion baht at the end of 2009.

Bangkok Bank led the group in asset size and capital metrics at the end of the first half, when its total assets amounted to 2.558 trillion baht and its Tier 1 common capital ratio stood at 14.67%.

In terms of profitability, KASIKORNBANK beat the other three banks, with an ROAA of 2.23% and a net interest margin of 3.77% for the first half of 2014. The bank also boasted the lowest nonperforming loan ratio in the group at 2.32%.

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