KBank keen on trade finance-Kasikornbank is aiming for 36% growth rate in its international trade business this year, despite the decline in the country’s exports and imports. Songpol Chevapanyaroj, a KBank first senior vice-president, said the bank expected international trade business volume would increase to 3.4 billion baht this year, or 25% of the market. KBank, which booked trade business volume of 2.5 billion baht in 2008, has invested heavily in improving its service platform to improve efficiency and processing time. The bank can cut four days from processing time under the new system. “The four-day saving means a customer could save interest of around 313,000 baht per year at 5.5% based on export or import volume of 520 million baht,” he said. Mr Songpol said the faster service would reduce the bank’s interest income but it would be offset by a larger client base and fee income. The system development would also help to improve the business potential of the industry.
KBank forecast the country’s exports and imports, in terms of volume, will decrease by 30% this year as a result of the global recession. The export-import volume of the bank’s clients would fall by around 23%. International trade business in the banking sector overall is expected to drop by 10% this year in terms of volume. However, the bank will maintain an ambitious growth target, with several products on offer. Hedging service would be one contributor. Demand for foreign-exchange hedging by small exporters and importers has increased to 40% of total export-import volume from 15% at the end of last year because of the gains made by the baht compared with the dollar. KBANK shares closed yesterday on the SET at 75 baht, down 25 satang, in trade worth 893.67 million baht.