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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        11  March 2011

Thai banks lift rates

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Three Thai banks, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Krung Thai Bank and TMB Bank, yesterday increased their interest rates across the board, following moves the day before by Bangkok Bank and Kasikornbank. BBL and KBank had reacted within hours of the Bank of Thailand's decision on Wednesday afternoon to increase its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 2.50 percent.

Effective today, SCB is increasing its deposit and lending rates in a range of 0.10 to 0.25 percentage points.

The bank's savings rate will rise to 0.75 percent per year from 0.62 percent currently, and its fixed-deposit rates will be in the range of 1.25 percent to 3.10 percent, up from 1.15 percent to 2.7 percent, depending on the term.

SCB president Kannikar Chalitaporn said in a statement that the bank's rate adjustments reflected the central bank's policy rate increase.

The bank also aims to attract more deposits with a new promotion for a 15-month-fixed account offering an attractive rate of 2.80 percent per year. Krung Thai Bank, meanwhile, is increasing its savings rate by 0.125 percentage points to 0.75%, and its fixed-deposit rates in a range of 0.10 to 0.30 percentage points.

TMB raised its deposit interest rates in the range of 0.13 to 0.55 points and loan rates rose 0.25 points. The new savings rate is 0.75 percent and fixed rates range from 1.50 percent (three months) to 2.90 percent (24 months). The MLR is now 7 percent, MOR 7.25 percent and MRR 7.625 percent.

The central bank said on Wednesday that the increase in the policy rate was needed to curb inflation.

Bangkok Bank on Wednesday lifted its savings rate by 0.125 points to 0.75 percent while fixed-deposit rates rose in a range of 0.375 to 0.625 points. It increased its MLR by 0.25 points to 6.625 percent, MOR to 6.875 percent and MRR to 7.25 percent. The new rates took effect yesterday. Kasikornbank increased its savings rate by 0.12 points to 1.3 percent, and fixed-deposit rates by 0.15 to 0.35 points.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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