Hi-Way aims for 30-40% growth in auto title loans

Hi-Way aims for 30-40% growth in auto title loans

Tisco Financial Group's microfinance arm, Hi-Way Co, has set an ambitious vehicle loan growth target in the range of 30-40% this year, thanks to stronger demand for loans in line with the country's economic rebound.

Hi-Way, which provides auto title loans under the Somwang Ngern Sang Dai marketing brand, aims to expand loans in this category by around 30-40% this year.

The strong loan growth target for 2022 will be supported by recovering economic activities, which will encourage loan demand, said the company's managing director Supachai Boonsiri.

The company had a total loan portfolio of 17.9 billion baht in 2021, a decline of 0.7% year-on-year, mainly due to the impact of the Delta variant of Covid-19 amid the pandemic, particularly in the third quarter of last year. However, the situation has been improving since the fourth quarter of 2021.

Tisco informed the Stock Exchange of Thailand that Somwang had total outstanding loans in this year's first quarter of 18.45 billion baht, rising 3% year-on-year. The Somwang loan portfolio represents 57.4% of Tisco Bank's total car title outstanding loans. Meanwhile, the total car title loan portfolio of Tisco Bank in the first quarter this year stood at 32.16 billion baht, an increase of 1.5%, year-on-year.

Mr Supachai said the company paid attention mainly to helping customers who have suffered from the impact of the pandemic by launching several financial assistance programmes in accordance with their capability in terms of debt payment. These programmes have improved the company's non-performing loan (NPL) situation.

"We believe both the Thai economy and our NPL ratio bottomed out in the third quarter last year and both situations have been picking up since last year's fourth quarter," he said.

The company classified its NPL ratio at 3% in the third quarter of 2021, but since then the ratio has been declining. Therefore, the company expects to contain the distressed debt ratio to below 3% throughout 2022.

Even though it is setting an ambitious loan growth target for 2022 amid higher competition in the car title loan market, the company expects to achieve the growth target thanks to its expertise in this area of business. At the same time, there is more room to grow the loan product amid positive demand nationwide. Demand for auto title loans is stronger than demand for loans to purchase new cars, Mr Supachai said.

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