SCB targets foreign clients

SCB targets foreign clients

Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) aims to raise overseas loans to 10% of its overall total in the next three to five years, with China and Vietnam expected to contribute a great deal as their foreign direct investment (FDI) grows.

The country's third-largest lender by assets wants to double its lending to Chinese investors over the next three years, driven by strong growth of China's outward FDI to Thailand, said chief executive Arthid Nanthawithaya.

Chinese investors have borrowed 15 billion baht from SCB, but international loans represent a marginal portion of the bank's outstanding loans of 2.28 trillion baht.

Mr Arthid said Chinese investors have often used Thailand as a hub to expand into neighbouring Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

SCB, in collaboration with China Minsheng Bank Corp, has supported syndicated loans worth US$100 million to China-based Trina Solar Science & Technology (Thailand).

The loans have been used to invest in two solar power plants in Rayong province, while SCB has also provided the Chinese firm with working capital of $43 million.

Trina Solar Science & Technology is a unit of Trina Solar, the world's largest solar panel producer.

Thailand is the company's manufacturing hub for exporting the renewable energy to the US, Europe and Asean countries.

Mr Arthid said the bank was also in talks with more than 10 Chinese companies to provide financial support for their investment in Thailand.

The Chinese firms are engaged in sectors including renewable energy, building and construction, agriculture and tourism.

SCB has focused on both outbound investment of local customers and inbound investment of foreign investors.

Japan and South Korea are also major investors in Thailand, while the bank has also restructured its banking operations in Vietnam to prepare for the rising tide of FDI there.

SCB has been awarded a branch operating licence in Vietnam and all assets and liabilities of Vinasiam Bank have been transferred to the branch as the local bank will be liquidated on revocation of its banking licence.

SCB has established the wholly owned Cambodian Commercial Bank in Cambodia, a branch in Laos's Vientiane and a representative office in Myanmar's Yangon.

SCB shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 138 baht, down 4.50 baht, in heavy trade worth 1.4 billion baht.

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