BAY tests Cambodian waters

BAY tests Cambodian waters

Bank of Ayudhya (BAY), Thailand's fifth-largest lender by assets, is exploring business opportunities for its unsecured car and motorcycle loans in Cambodia.

Thakorn Piyaphan, head of BAY's unsecured loan and digital banking and innovation units, said the bank has been searching for credit card and personal loan opportunities.

It is also studying digital banking options in cross-border remittances, he said.

Initially, BAY will prioritise Cambodian migrants who want to transfer money from Thailand to their hometowns.

The firm, which aims to replace agents in these transactions, is still in the process of developing relevant technology and partnering with Cambodian banks.

These business will be added to the product line-up of its wholly owned microfinance unit Hattha Kaksekar Ltd (HKL) which is operating there.

HKL is aggressively increasing its footprint in the region.

Separately, Pairote Cheunkrut, head of Krungsri Auto Group (BAY's auto loan business unit), said the company aims to expand its business in the regional market.

It will first focus on motorcycle loans, which is likely to be the most lucrative sector. The bank will then expand to auto loan refinancing through its Car4Cash service.

Mr. Pairote said Car4Cash will tentatively be rolled out two years after the analogous motorbike service, for which no definite time frame has been set.

The bank's strategy stresses expansion into Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to serve Japanese and Thai investors expanding their presences into the subregion.

Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ now owns a 76.9% stake in BAY.

In Laos, for example, it is opening a new branch in Pakse by the third quarter of the year and expanding its auto refinancing brand.

BAY also announced in April it would inject US$15 million into Hattha Kaksekar. HKL is the third-largest microfinance deposit-taking institution in Cambodia.

BAY shares closed last Friday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 36.50 baht, down 25 satang, in trade worth 8.66 million baht.

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