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Thailand’s BBL expects higher loan growth in 2008


August 12, 2008

Thailand’s BBL expects higher loan growth in 2008
Thailand’s Bangkok Bank (BBL) expects its 2008 lending to grow more than a target of 5-7 percent after strong growth in the first half of the year, reported Reuters on Monday.

BBL, the country’s biggest lender, recorded a loan growth of 12.2 percent in the first six months and expected loan demand for working capital and new projects to remain high in the second half, probably not grow as much as in the first half, president Chartsiri Sophonpanich was quoted by Reuters as saying.

“Thailand’s economy is expanding well, mostly in the manufacturing sector and exports, although the country has faced many problems,” Chartsiri said.

However, analysts have been pessimistic about the outlook for the bank as prolonged political uncertainty threatened economic growth and surging inflation undermined consumer confidence.

Thailand’s finance ministry has forecasted that the country’s economic growth to be 5.0-6.0 percent this year, up from 4.8 percent in 2007.

Bangkok Bank had total outstanding loans of 1.1 trillion baht ($32.6 billion) as of the end of June.

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