Political impasse may impact Thailand’s credit ratings

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BANGKOK, April 9 – A leading banker today expressed concern that possible moves by three global rating agencies to lower Thailand’s credit ratings will impact the operations of public and private sectors.

Kasikornbank president Predee Daochai referred to reviews of Thailand’s economic performance by Fitch Ratings, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s amid speculations that the three agencies will adjust the country’s ratings given the prolonged political impasse which has shaken the economy.

Lower credit ratings will affect lending costs in the public and private sectors, he said, hoping that political conflicts will end soon and Thailand’s credit ratings will remain unchanged.

Mr Predee said Thailand’s Q1 economic growth will be only 1.8 per cent which is lower than originally projected, compelling private banks to revise their business plans and targets.

The original plans were based on a gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 5 per cent this year but the latest adjusted growth is 3 per cent, he said.

The projected growth of lending is also lowered from 10 per cent to 6-8 per cent while commercial banks must closely monitor the quality of loans and work closely with cash-strapped lenders to maintain the ceiling of non-performing loans at 2.2 per cent. (MCOT online news)