Banks may see strong loan growth, more bad loans this year: BoT

Banks may see strong loan growth, more bad loans this year: BoT

Farmers queue for aid at the BAAC’s Samut Prakan branch. (Bangkok Post photo)
Farmers queue for aid at the BAAC’s Samut Prakan branch. (Bangkok Post photo)

Commercial banks are expected to post strong loan growth this year, as more large businesses are seeking credit due to the volatile debt market amid the coronavirus outbreak, a senior director at the Bank of Thailand (BoT) said on Monday.

Loans grew 4.1% in the first quarter of this year, compared with 2% in the whole of 2019, Director Tharith Panpiemraas told a briefing. But he did not give a specific forecast.

Non-performing loans (NPLs) are likely to rise further this year, reflecting the slowing economy, he said.

NPLs stood at 3.05% of total lending at the end of March, up from 2.98% at the end of last year, Mr Tharith said.

The Thai economy contracted 1.8% in the first quarter from a year earlier, and 2.2% from the December quarter, as social restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus hit tourism and domestic activity. 


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