KBank: 5 years for foreign input

KBank: 5 years for foreign input

Kasikornbank (KBank), the country's third-largest lender by assets, estimated it would take at least five years for international business to contribute significant revenue to the bank.

Foreign business, in the initial stage, is largely to comply with the bank's strategic policy. It will take at least five years to see business growth in terms of earnings, said president Kattiya Indaravija.

KBank has focused on Asean+3 (China, Japan, and South Korea) for offshore banking business, with different business models in each country.

The bank has overseas networks in nine countries -- Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam (CLMV), as well as Indonesia, China, Japan, the US and Cayman Islands.

It holds local a banking licence in China, foreign banking licences in Cambodia and Laos, representative office licences in Myanmar and Vietnam, and operates through partnership model in Japan and South Korea. KBank has a strategic shareholder model in Indonesia.

She said CLMV is the bank's key strategic market, given its high economic growth potential and geographic location.

KBank is waiting for Myanmar to open the next round of foreign branch licensing.

In Vietnam, the bank needs to study the country's banking industry and regulations more deeply, said Mrs Kattiya.

The Vietnamese central bank has a policy to encourage foreign banks to develop their presence there through merger and acquisition because of the abundance of banks, meaning the chances are slim KBank will be awarded an operating licence, she said.

However, the bank will continue to explore business opportunities in the market because the regional economy has high growth potential.

KBank holds a 10% share in Bank Maspion Indonesia.

The bank's shareholding is at a reasonable level and KBank must seek approval from the Indonesian central bank and comply with additional regulations if it wants a larger stake, said Mrs Kattiya.

In a related development, KBank is adopting a digital platform with a Japanese non-bank partner with a focus on payment service, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

KBANK shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 195 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 690 million baht.

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