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Sagging global economy a worry for exporters: Bbl

Bangkok Bank yesterday expressed concern that the global economic crisis could deal a severe blow to the export sector next year, while all businesses might face problems, including lenders.  Decha Tulanan, vice chairman of the country’s largest bank by assets, said the worldwide downturn from the slowing US and European economies would be a stiff challenge for Thai exporters.

Garment manufacturers are among those that would likely be hit hard, |he said.  Even though exporters will be able to maintain their business for the last three months of this year, they have witnessed delays in goods delivery to customers and this is not a good sign for exports, he said.  Doing business next year will not be easy, and that also goes for loan extensions, Decha said.  Next year could be a tough time for local rice traders to compete in the global market. The government’s unclear rice-pledging scheme will likely make farmers unable to set rice prices, which would be a global disadvantage as Vietnam sets lower rice prices.  However, the government’s first-car purchase scheme could benefit auto-parts makers, many of which are the bank’s customers.

“Bangkok Bank does not have a hire-purchase business but we gain from loan extensions to auto-parts makers.  “If there is huge demand for vehicles through the first-car purchase scheme, auto-parts production will increase as well,” Decha said.  The bank targets its loans to grow 6-8 per cent this year. In the first seven months, its loan portfolio expanded 8 per cent.

Source: The Nation

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