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Financial crisis has little impact on Thai banks

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October 2, 2008

Financial crisis has little impact on Thai banks

Thailand's commercial banks have not been adversely affected by the global financial crisis as they have made only small investments in foreign debt instruments, Thai government news agency TNA quoted a leading banker as saying.

Commenting on the Bank of Thailand (BoT) warning for commercial banks to brace for the global financial crisis, Adisorn Sermchaiwong, assistant vice president of Siam Commercial Bank Plc, said it is justified that the central bank had come out to give the warning.

However, he believed the banks as a whole had not taken a heavy brunt from the world financial crisis because their investments in foreign debt instruments represents only 1-2 percent of their total investment.

Regarding the interest trend for the rest of this year, he said it is rather difficult to forecast since the inflation rate had declined while the direction of loan growth remained unclear.

He conceded that bank loans had grown rather rapidly in the first 6-7 months of this year while deposits had expanded quite slowly, which resulted in an increase in deposit rates.

Adisorn said many economic factors are expected to remain volatile in the remaining period of this year.

So, it is necessary to keep watch on what the central bank will signal in a meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee on October 8.

Adisorn affirmed that liquidity in the banking system is not in trouble.

In August, deposits made with major banks increased by more than Bt100 billion. Of this, up to Bt30 billion are deposits made with SCB.

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