A merger of Thanachart Bank Plc (TBANK; AA-(tha)/Stable) and TMB Bank Plc (TMB; BBB-/bbb-/AA-(tha)/Stable) could result in positive rating action if the enlarged merged entity is able to sustain material improvement in its domestic franchise and financial strength, Fitch Ratings says.
However, downside risks are most likely to arise from the complexities and challenges of integrating the banks’ respective operations and cultures.
The two Thai mid-sized banks announced that they have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for a merger on February 27. The transaction is still in its early stages, with only limited information disclosed. Fitch expects to take rating actions if the merger plans are executed and when any changes in the credit profiles of the two banks become clearer.