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7 May 2009

Malaysia’s CIMB seeks 15% loan growth in Thai market

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CIMB Thai Bank, 94 percent owned by Malaysia's CIMB, said on Wednesday it targeted loan growth of 15 percent this year, higher than rivals, and aimed to boost its return on equity (ROE) in the longer term, reported Reuters.

CIMB Thai, formerly known as BankThai, planned to give about 12 billion baht ($342 million) in loans to customers in 2009, concentrating on the export and construction sectors, President Subhak Siwaraksa told reporters.

The bank's loan growth target is much higher than other Thai banks, which have said they targeted growth of about 3 percent to 5 percent this year.

CIMB Thai, which had outstanding loans of about 80 billion baht at the end of 2008, had focused on business restructuring in recent years, which involved capital-raising, Subhak said.

CIMB, controlled by Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings, bought a stake in BankThai from a Thai central bank unit in 2008 and completed its acquisition this year, boosting its stake to 94 percent.

In line with a broader plan of CIMB, the Thai unit aimed to turn its ROE positive and be among the top three in Thailand by 2013, he said.

The bank's ROE was negative after it made losses since 2006. CIMB Thai reported a net loss of 257 million baht in the first quarter this year, down from a loss of 2.1 billion baht a year earlier.








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