Thailand's economic growth in 2019 is expected to be 3.8 per cent, decreasing from 4.1 per cent in 2018. Amid slower world trade and risks from the US trade policies, exports declinded for the first two months of the year.
This has squeezed manufacturing production of export-oriented sectors, which has led to the fall in overall domestic production activity.
Nevertheless, private consumption continued to expand in line with continuous improvement in farm income. Going forward, although downside risks to Thailand’s economic growth are greater given weaker global economy, public policy continuity, including the implementation of infrastructure projects such as the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), will be key to underpinning private sector sentiment.
Moreover, policies to improve household purchasing power, which are likely to be implemented by the incoming government, will, to some extent, provide additional support to domestic consumption.
Bangkok Bank and its subsidiaries reported a net profit attributable to its owners of the Bank of Bt9.028 billion, a slight increase of 0.3 per cent from the first quarter of 2018. Net interest income increased by 6.9 per cent and net interest margin increased from 2.34 per cent to 2.48 per cent. Non-interest income decreased by 28.3 per cent due mainly to declines in gains on investments and net fees and service income. The decrease in net fees and service income was due to the exemption of transaction fees via digital channels and lower fees from loan-related services. Operating expenses declined by 3.1 per cent and the ratio of expense to operating income stood at 42.6 per cent.
At the end of March, the bank’s loans amounted to Bt2.029 trillion, a decrease of 2.6 per cent from the end of 2018 mainly due to the decline in loans to businesses and consumers. The ratio of non-performing loan (NPL) to total loans was 3.5 per cent, while the ratio of loan loss reserves to NPL was 189 per cent.