SME Bank to hold interest rates steady despite higher policy rate

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BANGKOK, 13 July 2011  – The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank (SME Bank) affirms the bank will maintain its interest rates although the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) may raise the policy interest rate during its meeting today. 

SME Bank Director Soros Sakornvisava said the bank’s interest rates will be unchanged in order to relieve difficulties of entrepreneurs from higher costs caused by the oil price hike and rising prices of materials.

Moreover, the plan of the new government to increase minimum wage to 300 baht per day is likely to affect SME entrepreneurs seriously once it becomes effective. Businesses to be affected immediately are garment, shoes, seafood, canned food and services.

As a result, the bank will try to keep its interest rates on hold until the last quarter of this year, and after that, rate adjustments will be considered again.

The director added that the SME Bank is preparing assistance measures for those suffering from the rising costs. He noted that the bank has been aiding its customers by reducing operating costs and improving production efficiency to alleviate their higher wage cost.