ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Asean investors seek ‘NPAs’ in Thailand
Suchart Dechittirat, assistant vice president at Thailand's Krung Thai Bank, said investors were also looking for NPAs such as hotels and hospitals. Assets in border provinces such as Udon Thani and Mukdahan are in high demand, while NPAs in Kanchanaburi are becoming more popular as well because of that province's proximity to the Dawei project in Myanmar.
"Investors want developed land and warehouses for the establishment of logistics businesses. Moreover, a group of Singaporean investors have asked the bank about hotels they can redevelop to serve the AEC," he said.
So far this year, KTB has sold 7 billion baht (US$222 million) worth of NPAs, and it believes sales will reach 12 billion baht by year-end, higher than last year's 10 billion baht. KTB's NPA portfolio totals 35 billion baht.
Suchart said this should be a golden year for banks and buyers alike because of the attractive prices for NPAs. The rising prices of building materials are also benefiting the market, but he said buyers should make quick decisions because the prices of NPAs would go up by 5-10 per cent next year.
The prices of NPAs in flood zones are also expected to increase next year if there is no repeat of last year's inundation in the meantime, he said.
Chatchai Payuhanaveechai, executive vice president at Kasikornbank, said the AEC would present greater opportunities for selling NPAs, adding that land and office buildings were expected to be the hot items for investors. Thailand is in the centre of the AEC, so investors are interested setting up their sales offices here.
The number of non-performing assets will gradually decrease in line with the economic growth driven by the AEC, he said. NPAs in border provinces such as Udon Thani, Khon Kaen and Nong Khai will become more in demand, replacing Nakhon Ratchasima province, which has been a top market in this category.US$1 = 31.4 baht
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