Thailand’s Export-Import Bank (EXIM Thailand) plans to open representative offices in Cambodia and Laos later this year as part of its plans to expand in the Greater Mekong Sub-region to support Thai enterprises abroad.
Pisit Serewiwattana, EXIM Thailand’s president, said that the bank “has remained steadfast in promoting trade and investment expansion in the CLMV emerging markets”. The CLMV comprises Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
“In June, 2017, EXIM Thailand opened a representative office in Yangon, and plans to open more in Laos and Cambodia,” Mr Pisit said in a press release on Tuesday.
“There are ample trade and investment opportunities in the global markets, including emerging markets which Thai entrepreneurs may not be so familiar.
“In view of this, EXIM Thailand is ready to support Thai entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises in particular, with the extension of revolving funds and risk management tools so that they can compete well,” Mr Pisit said.
“EXIM Thailand aims to be a world class specialised financial institution serving as a key mechanism in driving forward Thailand’s international trade and investment strategies,” he added.
In the first six months of this year, EXIM Thailand posted a net profit about $200 million, which was a year-on-year growth of $1.65 million.
As of the end of June 2017, the bank recorded outstanding loans of 85,391 million baht ($2.56 billion), with new loan drawdowns of 13,932 million baht ($419 million) during the year and partial repayment of existing loans, according to the press release.
EXIM Thailand’s non-performing loan ratio at the end of June stood at 3.61 per cent, or 3.08 billion baht, down by 658 million baht year on year.
The bank’s allowance for doubtful accounts was 7.20 billion baht to 3.03 billion baht, which was the minimum provision requirement by the Bank of Thailand.
“This represented a ratio of loan-loss provision against the requirement of 237.65 percent, enabling the bank to maintain a strong financial status,” the bank said.
Soeng Sophary, the Commerce Ministry’s spokesperson, told Khmer Times that financial services in the country would improve with the entry of “newcomers”.
“It will benefit consumers, importers and exporters as there would be more choices in terms of financial products from the bank,” she said.
“In a free market, if there is more competition, the choices would be better for consumers.”
According to a report from the National Bank of Cambodia, in the first half of this year, Cambodia has 39 commercial banks, 15 specialised banks, seven microfinance deposit institutions, 66 microfinances, 267 rural credit operators, 12 leasing companies, and six foreign bank representative offices.