Thai Islamic Bank asserts financial strength despite soaring NPLs


BANGKOK, Feb 13 – A senior Islamic Bank of Thailand (IBank) executive has affirmed that the bank’s financial status and liquidity are strong as ever despite its rocketing non-performing loans (NPLs) at Bt39 billion, 20 per cent of its total lending.

Thanin Angsuwarangsi, IBank manager, said Bt24.3 billion debts are being negotiated by the bank and debtors while the bank’s liquidity is normal.

IBank is capable of increasing its capital in accord with the Finance Ministry’s framework and depositors have no cause to worry, he said.

He said the bank has submitted its plan for a capital increase and NPL solutions to the Finance Ministry and hoped for the ministry’s approval soon.

Mr Thanin said before he took the helm at IBank last October, the bank concentrated on offering loans to major enterprises instead of lending to Muslim customers.

After a restructuring of IBank’s role, it will emphasise giving loans to Muslim Thai people and small-time business operators at a proportion of 50 per cent to Muslim Thais, 25 per cent to major businesses and 25 per cent to smaller businesses, he said.

Mr Thanin said IBank is currently negotiating with more than 100 major debtors, each indebted at higher than Bt100 million, and the majority are willing to discuss debt resolution on the NPLs with the bank.

He believed the problem of Bt39 billion NPLs will be solved in three years, adding that IBank officers who are found to unscrupulously offer loans to customers will be legally dealt with.