Wednesday, January 09, 2008

SCB to take more cautious approach in 2008

SCB to take more cautious approach in 2008


Siam Commercial Bank is expected to revise its business plan more frequently this year and adopt a more cautious approach due to ongoing political and economic uncertainties.

Sirichai Sombutsiri, a senior executive vice-president at Siam Commercial Bank, said quarterly updates are likely to be made instead of half-year revisions due to political risks and uncertainties.

''We are likely to be more cautious in every one of our business segments,'' he said at a briefing yesterday.

Most bank customers, Mr Sirichai said, maintained a cautiously optimistic outlook for economic trends to improve in 2008, with greater investment demand to support export growth.

Tourism also remained relatively strong, he said.

Meanwhile, SCB president Kannikar Chalitaporn said even though US interest rates were likely to decline later this month, domestic rates were likely to remain unchanged.

Local interest rates would follow domestic economic conditions and credit demand more than overseas trends, she said.

Many banks, including SCB, Krung Thai and TMB Bank, recently increased short-term fixed deposit rates for corporate clients to help boost liquidity.

Mrs Kannikar said deposit funding remained one of the key funding sources for local banks, and that SCB hoped to boost deposits by about 100 billion baht for the year.

But bankers say the rates for savings and three-month fixed deposits for individual customers, which account for the bulk of bank deposits, are unlikely to change until the third quarter as banks seek to constrain increases in funding costs.

Rates are likely to increase in the second half of the year as the Bank of Thailand raises its short-term policy rate to help curb inflation, one treasury executive said.

SCB shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 81 baht, up one baht, in trade worth 351.77 million baht.

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