Bank to offer more loans to the public, plus loan restructuring
Art Siripin, director of the Government Savings Bank
(GSB), Region 7, Chiang Mai Office, has announced it will run a project to
assist the general public with the introduction of an asset conversion plan.
Loans will also be available for people wanting to open food shops. The GSB,
Region 7 has also devised a plan to restructure loans for people who have
been unable to repay their debts.
Siripin, director of the Government Savings Bank (GSB), Region 7, Chiang Mai
Art said that since the Bank was launched in April, 2001,
it had given loans and credit of about 1.17 billion baht to 56,300 clients.
847 million baht in loans were given to 4,357 businesses and investors since
The asset conversion program has been introduced as a
pilot project in Chiang Mai on January 1 through Chiang Mai Municipality and
the Bank plan to provide loans of 5 million baht to 96 traders at the Chiang
Mai night bazaar. Of the 50 operators at the shops and stalls in the Doi
Suthep-Pui National Park who have taken out loans, 14 had applied for
Of the 34 operators at Maesa Waterfall National Park in
Chiang Mai’s Mae Rim district, 12 had applied to the GSB’s Mae Rim
branches for loans totalling about 750,000 baht.
The project to restructure the public’s bad debts marked the Bank’s
responsibilities in the five provinces, he added. “This is an
implementation project for the 30,995 poor people who have registered on the
poverty list. About 16,027 of them applied for loans totalling 300 million
baht. “However their applications are currently being screened for credit
approval,” he said.
Economic confidence indexes continues to slump
All of Thailand’s economic confidence indexes are
continuing on a downward spiral despite attempts by the government to put a
brave face regarding the nation’s growth prospects, according to new
research published September 9. The research by the Center for Economic and
Business Forecasting at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce shows
that the overall economic confidence index for August dropped to 92.0
points, compared to 95.2 points in July.
Confidence in employment opportunities slid from 91.1
points to 88.1, while confidence in future earning capacity slumped from
108.6 points to 106.2.
The report said the index was likely to fall further over
the coming months despite the positive factors in August such as expansion
of export growth and low interest rates. It said these factors could be
offset in the future by rising fuel costs.
The center predicts the Thai economy will grow by only
5.5 percent next year, lower than government forecasts. It bases its
forecast on export growth of 14 percent and the government’s decision to
raise diesel prices in February next year. This, in turn, will push up the
cost of goods, putting inflation at 4 percent. At the same time, the country
is likely to record a trade deficit next year. (TNA)
Second-hand houses still in greater demand
Second-hand houses remain in greater demand in Thailand,
as total sales of houses in the first half of this year reached more than
240 billion baht, according to a top banker. Napengpasaeng Krisanamara, the
senior vice president of Siam Commercial Bank Public Company Limited (SCB),
said the sale of houses in the first half of this year significantly
increased by 52.1% to 243 billion baht.
He believes second-hand houses are in greater demand by
the public since new house prices rose considerably upon higher construction
material prices, and increased interest rates. He said the demand for
residences was likely to continue to rise as housing loans extended by the
bank in the January-July period were as high as 7.8 billion baht, and were
expected to grow further.
Napengpaesaeng said SCB planned to place for sale its
non-performance assets (NPAs) comprising of 560 items valued more than 890
million bath at a grand housing fair to be jointly held by the bank, Home
Products Center, and B.C.T. Housing Co during September 29-October 3. He
projected more than 100 million baht of NPAs would be sold off at the fair.
Currently, NPAs held by the bank totals 12 billion baht.
The bank has targeted to reduce the assets by 3 billion baht this year.
To facilitate the NPA sale, the bank has offered a loan
with a fixed interest rate of 1% in the first six months. After that,
borrowers can opt for a fixed interest rate of 3.24% in the first year,
4.25% in the first two years, or 5.25% in the first three years without
lending fees. Napengpaesaeng conceded that people were more selective in
house purchases now that interest rates are rising. (TNA)