Thai banks go int’l with whole­sale bank­ing

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

BANGKOK: Asia's bur­geon­ing eco­nomic growth is cre­at­ing greater op­por­tu­ni­ties for Thai­land's cor­po­rate bank­ing sec­tor as sev­eral banks turn their eyes abroad.

The solid fun­da­men­tals of the coun­try's fi­nan­cial and real sec­tors are trans­lat­ing into in­creased busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for for­eign in­vest­ment, par­tic­u­larly in re­gional mar­kets. Neg­a­tive fac­tors such as the re­cent US fi­nan­cial cri­sis and Euro­pean pub­lic debt prob­lems have led to greater weak­ness in the West while open­ing up op­por­tu­ni­ties in the East amid strong growth led by China and In­dia.

Large Thai cor­po­ra­tions im­me­di­ately be­gan tak­ing ad­van­tage of the new op­por­tu­ni­ties in the wake of the 2008 US fi­nan­cial cri­sis, par­tic­u­larly merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions (M&As) of for­eign as­sets at at­trac­tive prices.

Thai banks are po­si­tion­ing them­selves to meet the chal­lenge in terms of both fi­nan­cial and non-fi­nan­cial ser­vices.

Bangkok Bank (BBL) has opened three new branches in Malaysia this year to sup­port Thai clients in­vest­ing in this high-growth coun­try. A fourth new branch will open next year, and the bank is ex­plor­ing net­work ex­pan­sions in In­dia and In­done­sia.

With 24 net­works in 12 coun­tries mostly in Asia and long-run­ning in­ter­na­tional op­er­a­tions, BBL en­joys the great­est ad­van­tage among Thai banks in this re­gard. Be­sides its cor­po­rate clients, the bank also helps small and medi­um­sized en­ter­prises to ex­pand their op­er­a­tions abroad, re­flect­ing strong po­ten­tial for both it and its clients in the in­ter­na­tional arena.

BBL, Thai­land's largest bank in terms of to­tal as­sets at 1.8 tril­lion baht, is the fifth largest in Asean. -PB News

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