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Business lending drives Siam Commercial growth

Business lending drives Siam Commercial growth

(31 May 2005 – Thailand) Thailand’s fourth largest bank, Siam Commercial Bank, has flagged a 10 to 12 percent rise in operating profits this year. Siam Commercial is one of Thailand’s Big 4 banks, along with Kasikornbank, Krung Thai Bank and Bangkok Bank. The four account for almost 70 percent of the country’s total loans and deposits.

All four had their ratings revised upwards by Fitch Ratings last year.

Siam Commercial president Jada Wattanasiritham said the bank expected loan growth of eight to nine percent this year despite slowing economic growth.

"Loans will be growing in the second half of the year but at a slower pace," she said.

Growth is expected to be driven by the energy, construction and agribusiness sectors.

The bank posted an operating profit of US$347 million last year.

This year Thai banks have to pay 30 percent tax on profits after being given tax breaks by the government in order to recover from the economic crisis in Asia when banks were severely affected by bad debts.
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