Briefs

Economy May 12, 2017 01:00

By The Nation

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NEW RULES COMING FOR CO-OPS, CREDIT UNIONS



The Cooperative Promotion Department will introduce regulations to supervise savings cooperatives and credit unions, which include a deposit interest-rate ceiling of 3.5 per cent.

Vinaroj Subsongsuk, director-general of the department, said it would hold a hearing for representatives from savings cooperatives and credit unions next Thursday.

Stakeholders and parties include 200 savings cooperatives and credit unions with combined assets of more than Bt5 billion and 64 cooperatives with assets of less than Bt5 billion, the Fiscal Policy Office, Council of State and Bank of Thailand. 

As the Finance Ministry proposed, besides the deposit rate cap, the dividend rate for paid-up shares will be capped at 6 per cent per year, dividend value at no more than 80 per cent of net profit and minimum liquidity at 6 per cent of the total value of deposits and lending. 

RATE FAIRNESS URGED 

Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong has asked commercial banks to reduce lending rates for small and medium-sized enterprises and retail customers.

He said after the opening ceremony of the 17th “Money Expo” yesterday that SMEs and retail customers were now paying higher interest rates than big corporates, resulting in them having to shoulder higher costs than big companies. 

Currently, SMEs are subject to interest rates of up to 8 per cent, compared with 3-4 per cent for major companies, creating an unfair field for SMEs to compete.

“We will not force banks to reduce their loan rates. However, they should consider fairness for all of parties,” Apisak said.

OFFICEMATE SPRUCES UP 

COL has invested more than Bt300 million in launching new storefronts and renovating existing locations under the concept of “Modern and Cosy Lifestyle Shopping” so every OfficeMate store will be able to offer one-stop business solutions. 

These efforts aim to retain its leading position in the hearts of business operators from small and medium-sized enterprises to large corporations. 

The company has also targeted a 20-per-cent increase in customer walk-ins this year, managing director Wilawan Rerkriengkrai said.

In 2017, OfficeMate plans to continue developing and sourcing more than 3,000 new products and services that will be the answer to meeting new business demands. 

KBank keen on M&A loans to|help achieve growth target

Kasikornbank is looking into providing merger-and-acquisition loans in the second half of this year as part of its efforts to boost new lending by 6 per cent this year, managing director Kattiya Indaravijaya told a news conference yesterday.

She noted that state investment had begun stimulating the economy in the first quarter of this year, indicating that private-sector demand for loans would rise in the second half. Meanwhile, the demand for loans from conglomerates pursuing business expansion is still growing strongly. This is expected to help drive KBank’s loan growth. KBank targets keeping its non-performing-loan ratio from exceeding 3.4 per cent this year after the NPL rate was 3.31 per cent in the first quarter.

Embassy site draws strong interest

JLL, the sole sales agent for the Australian Embassy site on Sathorn Road in Bangkok, reports that more than 10 parties have expressed interest in acquiring the property. The firm is also expecting more parties to participate in the expression-of-interest (EOI) tender before it closes.

The site covering 7 rai, 382 square wah (11,295.5 square metres) has been put up for sale on a freehold basis by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as the embassy will soon relocate to its new premises near Lumpini Park.

Suphin Mechuchep, managing director of JLL, said that not only listed and non-listed developers but also financial institutions and multinational companies looking for a prime site for new head offices have expressed interest. All of these parties are well qualified to make a bid in terms of financial strength and reputation. The sales campaign for the embassy site commenced in March and the EOI tender will close next month.

“After the tender closes, there will be a number of processes following such as shortlisting, a sale and purchase agreement, security-deposit payment and due diligence. As a result, we expect the sale transaction to be completed in the final quarter of 2017 when the successful tenderer will be unveiled,” Suphin said.

Value of housing launches up in Q1

A total of 85 residential projects were launched in the first quarter in metropolitan Bangkok comprising 24,103 units, down 3 per cent from the same period.

However, the developments were worth Bt94.63 billion, up 22.2 per cent from the same quarter of last year, according to a survey by the Real Estate Information Centre of Government Housing Bank. 

 

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