KBank forecast to triple lending in Laos

KBank forecast to triple lending in Laos

Kasikornbank (Lao PDR) in Vientiane is helping ease international trade and spur economic growth in Laos.
Kasikornbank (Lao PDR) in Vientiane is helping ease international trade and spur economic growth in Laos.

Kasikornbank (Laos) aims to triple lending growth and open a new branch this year to cash in on strong economic prospects in neighbouring Laos.

The bank, a 90%-owned subsidiary of Kasikornbank (KBank), expects 2016 loans outstanding to grow by more than 250% to 1.5 billion baht, said Pattanapong Tansomboon, first senior vice-president.

"KBank will mainly focus on increased lending this year since the Laotian economy is continuing to expand," he said. "Customers are seeking loans for business expansion and working capital, especially those firms involved in border trade. KBank aims to achieve 1.2 billion baht in deposits, 1.5 billion baht in total loans -- up 250% -- and 9 billion baht in trade transactions this year."

Kasikornbank (Laos), a locally incorporated institution in Vientiane that has operated for one year, had 760 million baht in deposits and 8 billion baht in international trade transactions in 2015.

Large Thai banks are keen to expand into other countries in Asean, especially Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, to serve local customers who are seeking a foothold in these countries where growth is higher than the global economy.

KBank, Thailand's fourth-largest lender by assets, also has outposts in Jakarta, Phnom Penh, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Yangon.

Kasikornbank (Laos) plans to open a second branch soon on Lan Xang Avenue in Vientiane's Chanthabouly district.

Moreover, the bank will reinforce its support for business customers through consulting advisory, business matching and lending services, especially for companies involved in international trade.

Trade growth between the two countries has been significant, with Thailand becoming Laos' main trade partner.

In 2015, trade between the two nations grew by 10.1% to 193.2 billion baht, of which 90% was border trade.

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