Despite greater business and investment opportunities on the back of the robust Asian economy and bright prospects for the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2016, Bangkok Bank (BBL) is maintaining its international loan portfolio at 18% of its outstanding credit this year.
Executive chairman Kosit Panpiemras said BBL's proportion of offshore loans is in line with international opportunities and the bank's risk management.
BBL plans to open only one foreign branch this year, in Medan, Indonesia. It is awaiting approval from that country's central bank.
Further foreign network expansion will be included in next year's plan, Mr Kosit said.
Thailand's largest bank by assets and the leader in offshore banking has 26 branches in 13 countries.
Mr Kosit said local large and medium-sized companies keen on foreign expansion, particularly in Asia, are the focus.
"On business expansion abroad in preparation for the AEC, we [local companies] should think about a win-win situation, with both sides giving and taking," he said.
"If we want to reap benefits from other countries we want to penetrate, we should give benefits to them as well. Otherwise, no country will want to offer us opportunities."
Mr Kosit said Thai investors remain behind their Singaporean and Malaysian counterparts in terms of foreign expansion, as each country has different necessities and pressures.
Restricted resources, raw materials and labour are compelling Thai business operators to outgrow their turf.
BBL last week signed a memorandum of understanding with the Siam Motors Group and Thammasat University to develop an automotive engineering English programme called Auto TU.
The bank will provide 30 million baht, while Siam Motors will give scholarships worth 60 million baht.
About the author
- Writer: Somruedi Banchongduang
Position: Business Reporter