Small and medium-sized enterprises will face more hurdles in the second half of this year amid a gloomier global economy, while effects from the higher daily minimum wage will linger, bankers said yesterday.
Pipavat Bhadranavik, a first senior vice-president of Kasikornbank (KBank), said local SME exporters shipping to the now-riskier euro zone will in the second half see a clearer picture of the size of any impact from the crisis raging there.
The picture from elsewhere, particularly the US and China, whose economies continued to slow down, will also be more readily discernible.
KBank provides financial advice to SME customers, in particular promoting hedging instruments to guard against risk rather than tightening debt conditions.
Its export loan portfolio for direct business with the EU and the US is 10-20% of its total outstanding SME debt of 400 billion baht, and this portion has been declining due to customers’ risk diversification.
Mr Pipavat said KBank’s SME export loans are geared largely to Asia in line with the continent’s economic growth.
KBank, Thailand’s fourth-largest bank in terms of assets and ranked No.1 for SME business, expects strong SME loan demand in the second half despite the greater uncertainty.
Strong domestic consumption and the country’s positive economic outlook will be major factors supporting the loan growth.
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