BBL funds CTH with Bt14-bn loan deal
Bangkok Bank, which yesterday signed a Bt14-billion loan agreement with Cable Thai Holding (CTH), is confident that lending demand from the cable- and satellite-television sector will now begin to flourish due to the development of broadband services.The bank's senior executive vice president, Chansak Fuangfu, said broadband network services in Thailand were now starting to take off, besides which there is the upcoming introduction of 3G services. These developments present greater opportunities for the provision of voice and data services, including via cable and satellite television.
As well as CTH, he said the bank believes that other players in the broadband industry will now acquire more content and broadcasting rights, thus boosting loan demand.
CTH last year won the tender for broadcasting rights to English Premier League football matches for three seasons, 2013-14 through to 2015-16.
Bangkok Bank has signed a three-year loan agreement with the company. CTH can withdraw the first tranche of the Bt14-billion financing by end of this month, for EPL rights down payment.
Additional tranches will be used for further EPL rights payments, as well as for CTH's network investment and working capital.
Chansak said that in order to manage risk in this new business sector, the bank must consider loan extension as project financing based on supply and demand and the profitability of operators, rather than on their assets.
CTH has a clear project model both at home and within Asean, he added.
CTH plans to borrow an additional Bt11 billion from Bangkok Bank in order to strengthen its investment in fibre-optic cable and related new technology, said company chairman Wichai Thongtaeng.
Chartsiri Sophonpanich, president of Bangkok Bank, said the bank is confident in CTH's business model. It believes the company can achieve its goals and has strong business partnerships.
On the broader scale, the bank this year targets loan growth of 7-9 per cent, based on gross domestic product expanding by 5-6 per cent, he said.
Economic growth momentum is being driven by investment in both the government and private sectors, supported by a stable policy interest rate, he added.
Chansak said the bank's corporate lending this year is projected to expand by 7-8 per cent.