Thailand's Kbank 2018 profit jumps on interest income, loan growth
BANGKOK, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Thailand's third-largest lender
Kasikornbank Pcl on Friday reported a 12 percent jump
in full-year profit on higher interest income, loan growth and
better asset quality.
Kbank's 2018 net profit of 38.4 billion baht ($1.21
billion)was slightly above an estimate of 38.3 billion baht
based on a Refinitiv poll of 24 analysts.
Loans grew 6.1 percent and allowances for doubtful accounts
in 2018 were 15.4 percent lower than the previous year.
Net interest income grew 4.6 percent to 98.5 billion baht.
Thai bank earnings have been under pressure by a money
transfer fee waiver, with Kbank's non-interest income slipping
9.1 percent. Rival Siam Commercial Bank saw annual profits drop
7 percent on weak fee income.
Kbank's cost-to-income ratio rose slightly to nearly 44
percent as it competes with rivals to invest new technology roll
out digital services.
Last year, Kbank, which has 15 million digital users,
announced a $50 million investment the ride-sharing app, Grab,
to offer electronic payments. The lender also
established a joint venture with Japanese chat-operator, Line
Corp, to expand digital services.
($1 = 31.6900 Thai baht)
(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
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