Thai tmb bank cuts 2016 loan growth target for second time

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BANGKOK Nov 9 TMB Bank, Thailand's seventh-largest lender, has cut its loan growth target for this year to 3-5 percent from 6 percent due to weaker-than-expected borrowing demand in a slowing economy, an executive said on Wednesday. This was the second reduction in 2016 loan growth target for TMB, which is 35 percent owned by Dutch financial group ING Groep. TMB's lending rose 2.4 percent in the first nine months of 2016, and just 0.4 percent in the third quarter, mostly from growth in retail and mortgages, Benjarong Suwankiri, head of strategy, said during the quarterly earnings presentation.

Loans to small- to medium-sized firms and large companies fell 2 to 4 percent in the first nine months as the Thai economy has been hit by weak exports and sluggish consumption, he said.

TMB expected its non-performing loan to stay below 3.0 percent of total lending at the end of this year, versus 2.5 percent at the end of third quarter, Benjarong said.

Last week, state-controlled Krung Thai Bank, the country's second-largest lender, revised its loan growth target and is the only major Thai banks to forecast loan contraction this year due to a slowdown in government investment.