Kasikornbank (Kbank) has set a loan growth target of 5-7 per cent in 2019 by focusing on “customers’ life platform of choice”, using K Plus to introduce financial and lifestyle services that suit individual clients.
Kbank’s financial and IT capabilities will be further enhanced by using data for decision-making and steering the business towards becoming a “Bank of Sustainability”, the chairman of the bank’s board, Banthoon Lamsam, said on Monday.
He added that the Thai economy would likely post steady growth in 2019. Despite lower demand abroad, domestic spending buoyed by both public and private investments may play a more important role in bolstering the Thai economic performance.
Thai GDP is expected to grow 4.3 per cent in 2019, lower than the 4.6-per-cent pace projected for 2018, due to the slowdown in the export sector and tourism caused by the high 2018 base and the protracted US-China trade dispute that may dampen the global trade overall.
The major drivers of the Thai economy in 2019 may include steady public infrastructure investment and the scheduled general election that will likely help reinvigorate the investment climate overall while Thailand’s interest rates will be on the upward trend amid lofty household debt.
Amid numerous challenges, Kbank’s business operations next year will continue to focus on its “customer centricity” philosophy. “We will press ahead with the ‘Customers’ Life Platform of Choice’ strategy by using K Plus, which has the highest number of users of any mobile banking applications in the country, to introduce financial and lifestyle services that meet the needs of individual customers. Our financial and IT capabilities will be enhanced further to allow KBank to be more responsive to every situation and become a data-driven bank,” Banthoon said.
As overall goals for 2019, KBank aims to achieve loan growth of 5-7 per cent, which would be consistent with the 2019 economic growth. Corporate loan growth is estimated at 3-5 per cent, SME loan growth at 2-4 per cent and retail loan growth at 9-12 per cent. The bank has set net interest margin growth at 3.3-3.5 per cent, and non-interest income growth at 5 to 7 per cent. KBank’s NPL ratio is projected at 3.3-3.7 per cent, the chairman of the bank’s board said.
He added that KBank continues to operate the business, aiming to be a “Bank of Sustainability”, and under appropriate risk management and good governance. “We are also building a balance in economic, social and environmental dimensions via strategies that will enable us to achieve and create sustainable returns over the long term,” Banthoon said.