RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, Thailand

Thai banks have limited overseas exposure

Local lenders enjoyed 35% revenue rise in the first half of this year amidst global economic woes.

The impacts of a weaker global economy on Thai banks should be minimal as Thai banks have very little exposure overseas, according to CIMB Securities (Thailand).

Furthermore, the Thai economy is expected to remain relatively strong with projected gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4 and 5 per cent (if it's followed by .0, we omit the zero ka) for this year and next year respectively.

Local banks enjoyed 35 per cent year-on-year earnings growth in the first half of this year and are expected to generate up to 24 per cent earnings year-on-year growth in the second half through higher net interest margins, loans and fee incomes growth, especially insurance premiums, and controlled costs.

Net interest margin is expected to rise by about 10 basis points to 3.3 per cent in the second half of this year compared to the average of 3.2 per cent in the first half of this year, in view of less competition for long-term deposits.

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