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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        14  January 2011

Thai banks lift rates

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Kasikornbank and Siam Commercial Bank are raising their deposit and lending rates today following the decision by the Bank of Thailand to lift its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 2.25 percent on Wednesday.

KBank is increasing savings deposit rates by a range of 0.12 to 0.25 percentage points to 0.62 percent for retail customers and 0.50 percent for institutional customers. Fixed-deposit rates will rise by 0.10 to 0.50 percentage points, said executive vice-president Somkiat Sirichatchai. The bank's new lending rate (MLR) is 6.37 percent, the minimum overdraft rate (MOR) 6.63 percent and minimum retail rate (MRR) 7.05 percent.

Siam Commercial Bank president Kannikar Chalitaporn said its savings deposit rate for individual accounts would rise by 0.12 percentage points to 0.62 percent, while rates for fixed deposits and bills of exchange would rise in the range of 0.12 to 0.35 percentage points.

It also raised its MLR to 6.375 percent, MOR to 6.625 percent and MRR to 7 percent. The two banks were following Bangkok Bank, which yesterday lifted both its deposit and lending rates in response to the central bank's decision.

BBL shares jumped 5.6 percent yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, closing at 169.50 baht in heavy trade worth 2.14 billion baht, as investors considered prospects for improved business growth.

Bangkok Bank raised its savings rate by 0.125 percentage points to 0.625% for individual customers and 0.25 points for institutional customers. It lifted fixed-deposit rates by 0.25 to 0.375 points.

It also raised its lending rates by 0.375 points, with MLR at 6.375, MOR at 6.625 percent and MRR at 7 percent.

Bangkok Bank president Chartsiri Sophonpanich said it was the first time in two years the bank had raised its basic savings deposit rate for individual accounts, in response to the country's economy and the inflation trend.

He said the bank hoped to keep the existing rates unchanged throughout the first half of this year.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

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.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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