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Bangkok Bank expects 5-7% loan growth    
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By: Cesar Tordesillas, Asian Banking & Finance



Bangkok Bank is aiming for 2011 loan growth of 5-7 percent, after an expected 5 percent this year.

"We will certainly achieve our loan growth target of 5 percent this year. For next year, we aim for our loans to grow 5-7 percent," said Kosit Panpiemras, Bangkok Bank Executive Chairman, noting the bank was expecting economic growth of between 4 and 5 percent in 2011.

Lending in 2010 was supported by the global economic recovery, which boosted exports and investment.

Most Thai banks are expected to show strong loan growth next year on the back of government borrowing for projects and rising personal incomes.

Number two Krung Thai Bank KTB.BK has said it expected 2011 loan growth of 10 percent, third-ranked Kasikornbank aimed for 7-9 percent, and fourth-ranked Siam Commercial Bank SCB.BK is targetting 10-12 percent.

Bangkok Bank, with outstanding loans of us$35.49 billion at end-November, reported a 3.22 percent rise in lending in the first 11 months.

The bank also expected gross non-performing loans to fall to about 4 percent of lending at the end of this year, compared with 4.36 percent at the end of last year, Kosit said.

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