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LENDING & CREDIT, RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Thailand

Krung Thai Bank's bad loan ratio could fall to 4% in 2019

The bank is in the process of resolving one big corporate NPL.

With the stabilisation of Krung Thai Bank’s (KTB) asset quality, the bank's non-performing loan (NPL) ratio could fall to  around 4% in 2019 from 4.5% in 2018 especially with one big corporate NPL resolution in the pipeline, according to a report from UOB Kay Hian. 

Also read: Can Thai banks keep their bad loan woes at bay?

The bank’s management also guided for a further recovery in loan growth to around 5% in 2019 from 4% in 2018. They noted that they will focus more on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and retail loans aside from lending to government and state enterprises.

With the improving loan mix towards good performing SMEs and retail lending, UOBKH believes that earnings yields should continue to grow.

Also read: Thai banks weather digital fee waiver as 2018 earnings rise 8.2% to $6.69b

KTB is in the process of investing on heavy IT platform which UOBKH estimates a capex of around $320-480m (THB10-15b) every year from 2019 to 2021.

“We therefore expect its cost-to-income ratio to come under pressure, rising from around 45% in 2018 to around 47% in the next few years,” UOBKH noted.

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