Economy January 18, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Foreign reserves decline since November

Thailand’s foreign reserves have been falling as a result of capital outflows. 
According to the Bank of Thailand’s data, the reserves stood at US$166.5 billion (Bt5.469 trillion) as of January 10. Combined with the net forward position of $23 billion, the reserves stood at $183.5 billion. 
A week earlier, the foreign reserves were at $166.6 billion while the net forward position was $22.6 billion.
The recent downward trend started in November, when reserves fell below $170 billion. 
The all-time high was registered on April 29, 2011, when the reserves were $189.9 billion.
New bankers’ chairman 
Frank Krings, chief country officer and general manager of Deutsche Bank, has been appointed chairman of the Association of International Banks, the foreign bankers’ association in Thailand.
His term started on January 1. 
The first vice chairwoman will be Monique Vialatou, CEO of BNP Paribas, while Lyn Kok, president and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank (Thai), will be the second vice chairwoman.
Harley opens flagship dealer 
Harley-Davidson of Bangkok has opened a new flagship dealership on Rama IX Road. 
The 4,000-square-metre facility contains a state-of-the-art service centre, a spacious retail showroom, and a member-exclusive lounge. With an iconic design that pays homage to the US motorcycle brand’s unique heritage, the Bangkok unit hopes the facility will allow it to serve customers better. 
The new facility is equipped for a full range of servicing of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. 
“We have always been about putting service first. We have invested heavily in our equipment and especially in our technicians, who all receive training from abroad to provide our customers with quality servicing and peace of mind,” said general manager Ken Svensson. 
The service centre is expected to handle up to 300 units a month. It will also offer long-term storage and customer access to motorcycle servicing status and monitoring via the Internet by the end of the year.
The showroom will showcase the new 2014 models. The authorised Harley-Davidson dealership offers competitive interest rates for financing. 
BBL’s profit reaches Bt35.9bn
Bangkok Bank, Thailand’s largest bank, reported consolidated net profit of Bt35.9 billion in 2013, up 12.7 per cent from the previous year.
In a statement, the bank said it witnessed an increase in both net interest and non-interest income. However, its net interest margin decreased from 2.55 per cent in 2012 to 2.36 per cent last year, because of the rising cost of deposits while loan yield declined.
The bank’s outstanding loans ended the year at Bt1.75 trillion, an increase of Bt148.3 billion or 9.2 per cent from the end of 2012. Meanwhile, non-performing loans stood at Bt43.2 billion, or 2.2 per cent of outstanding loans. The ratio of loan-loss reserves to NPLs increased to 214.2 per cent.