Regarding bank earnings reports of the Thai banking system for 1Q11 that will be released very soon, it is expected that interest margins in 1Q11 may increase QoQ and YoY, thanks to loan growth. It is possible that the net interest income will likely maintain growth momentum. Thus, overall net income from core business of Thai commercial banks, including net interest and fee incomes, may grow 11.6-15.7 percent YoY to THB107-111 billion in 1Q11. It is possible that those factors will play a significant role in generating bottom-line profit of more than THB30 billion for Thai banking system, against the profit of THB28 billion QoQ and YoY (depending on relevant impacts from technical factors during the quarter).
However, bank profitability over the remainder of this year may be hindered by increasingly complex factors involving risks toward Thai economic growth, e.g., the disaster in Japan and massive flooding in southern Thailand. Although higher raw material and energy prices have recently boosted business sector demand for working capital loans, such problems – if becomes more severe and prolonged – could hinder debt servicing ability of some borrowers, particularly SMEs that have limited ability to raise their products prices, and thus weaken demand for investment loans through decelerated economic activities.
Therefore, banks and related businesses may seek other measures to cope with such threats more proactively, aside from preparation ahead of implementation of lower fees for another two types of ATM transactions that will be gradually put into effect during or at the end of 2Q11. It is expected that new regulations may have greater impacts on the fee income of the Bank than what was seen in 1Q11.