KBank upbeat on debt repayment level

KBank upbeat on debt repayment level

Kasikornbank expects 60% of the corporate debt subject to KBank's debt holiday scheme to resume payments after the programme ends.

About 293,000 business operators, most of them small and medium-sized enterprises with total debt of 746 billion baht, have taken part in the debt relief scheme, said co-president Patchara Samalapa.

KBank, the country's largest lender by assets, has offered debt payment suspension under the bank's own programme and the Bank of Thailand's debt relief measures.

The central bank allows commercial banks to offer at least three months of debt holiday for customers affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The first-phase debt relief measures ran from April 1 to June 30, and the regulator has extended the programme for another three months.

Some customers that are entitled to the debt holiday scheme are servicing debt as normal, reflecting their repayment ability.

The bank's deposits outstanding increased by 13% from 837 billion baht at the end of last year to 934 billion baht as of June 22.

Corporate depositors are the main contributors to strong deposits growth, and this shows their financial liquidity, Mr Patchara said, adding that the surge in deposits also reflects low confidence to expand or invest.

He said the bank needs to closely monitor the remaining 40% of the debt under the payment suspension scheme.

The minority is risky because of an unclear picture in all aspects, including business potential, payment ability and customers' debt repayment willingness. The bank must treat them through both traditional and technological methods.

"Data analytics and face-to-face talks with customers are needed to appraise business," Mr Patchara said. "Importantly, the bank needs real information to clearly predict the business situation. Customers who are willing to give real information would get priority to receive an additional credit line."

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