Bank profits surge in Q1

Bank profits surge in Q1

A Kiatnakin Bank branch at a shopping mall in Bangkok. The small bank outpaced its peers in first-quarter results.
A Kiatnakin Bank branch at a shopping mall in Bangkok. The small bank outpaced its peers in first-quarter results.

Eleven SET-listed banks' unaudited net profits for the first three months of the year jumped 8.6% year-on-year.

The country's four largest banks' bad loans ticked up, but those of almost all smaller lenders declined.

The 11 banks posted an aggregate net profit of 53.7 billion baht for the January-to-March quarter, compared with 49.4 billion in the same period last year, according to their filings with the SET.

Kiatnakin Bank (KKP) emerged as the best performer among industry peers for the first quarter. The small bank's consolidated net profit surged 37.7% year-on-year to 1.52 billion baht, largely due to a steep drop in impairment charges.

The bank's loan-loss reserves plunged 71.4% from the corresponding period last year to 167 million baht.

A 8.9% increase in net interest income to 2.55 billion baht in the first quarter and a 3.1% rise in net fee and service income to 928 million also gave a boost to the bank's bottom line, KKP said.

Consolidated non-performing loans (NPLs) continued to fall to 9.93 billion baht at the end of March from 9.97 billion at the end of 2016, while the gross NPL ratio was steady at 5.6%.

On the other end, CIMB Thai Bank (CIMBT) was the worst performer among its peers.

The Thai unit of Malaysia's CIMB Group Holding Bhd reported a 63% year-on-year fall in first-quarter net profit to 121 million baht, though net interest and fee and service income all increased.

The bank's lower net profit was attributed to a 7% year-on-year increase in loan-loss provisions to 1.23 billion baht to cushion against higher bad loans, according to its filing.

CIMBT's net interest income rose by 3% on the same period last year to 2.46 billion baht for the first three months to March, and its net fee and service income shot up 27.6% to 427 million.

The bank's consolidated NPLs amounted to 11.2 billion baht at the end of March, and its gross NPL ratio dropped to 5.3% at the end of March from 6.1% at the end of December, CIMBT said.

CIMBT's loan-loss coverage ratio increased to 81.2% at the end of March from 77.3% at the end of December.

Bank of Ayudhya (BAY) said unaudited net profit rose 9.6% year-on-year to 5.65 billion baht for the three months to March, as its loan impairment charges dropped by 3.2% year-on-year to 5.24 billion and net interest income rose 9.9% to 16.5 billion.

A 2.8% increase in net fee and service income to 4.67 billion baht during the first quarter also boosted the bank's net profit.

BAY's gross NPL ratio, however, climbed to 2.33% at the end of March from 2.21% at the end of December.

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