The state-owned Islamic Bank of Thailand plans to issue THB5 billion ($164 million) in long-awaited Islamic bonds, or Sukuk, within this year, bank president Theerasak Suwannayos said Wednesday. The bank is awaiting approval of relevant regulations involving tax and asset transfer fees, he told reporters.
Its plan to introduce the first Sukuk in Thailand has been postponed for several years due to repeated delays in approvals of regulatory framework.
Meanwhile, Theerasak said the bank's plan to list on the local bourse is being shelved as the bank has been assigned by the government to provide financial aid to Thailand's restive southernmost provinces. By listing on the bourse, the bank will have to focus on making profits to generate the highest return for shareholders, which may conflict with the government's plan to use it to implement state policies, he said.
The bank posted a net profit of THB1.20 billion last year, up sharply from THB355 million in 2009, due to its aggressive lending to retail clients.
However, it expects net profit this year to shrink to THB841 million as the increasing cost of funds, amid an interest rate uptrend, will likely eat into its interest spread.
The bank aims to boost its assets to THB131.32 billion this year from THB98.36 billion. It plans to open 25 additional branches this year to lift its total outlets to 79.
The Ministry of Finance holds a 49% stake in the Islamic Bank of Thailand, with 38% held by the Government Saving Bank and 10% by Krung Thai Bank PCL.
source: Dow Jones Newswires