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Mar 15, 2023
Top Thai Credit-Card Firm Expects Record Profit on Tourism, Vote
(Bloomberg) -- Thailand’s biggest credit-card company expects its profit to reach another record in 2023 on bets that a tourism boom and the upcoming general election campaign will accelerate consumption and an economic recovery.
Krungthai Card Pcl has seen “stellar growth” in spending of about 2.5 million credit-card customers so far this year, said Chief Executive Officer Rathian Srimongkol. Demand for consumer loans is also rising amid a rebound in economic activities, he said.
“There has been revenge spending by our customers after some years of pandemic-related business and travel restrictions,” Rathian said in an interview Tuesday. “More cash will be flooded to the economy ahead of the election, when politicians will boost their spending on posters, campaign and other activities to win the votes.”
Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy has enjoyed a return of foreign tourists in droves, with arrivals topping 2 million for a second straight month in January. It may also benefit from spending on this year’s general election. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha could dissolve the parliament on March 20 and call for a vote, three days before the government’s four-year term ends, Prime Minister’s Office Minister Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said Tuesday.
Tourism Boom to Power Thai Economy After Shock GDP Contraction
Still, Krungthai Card adopts a cautious practice in approving new credit cards and consumer loans as the nation’s economic recovery remains fragile with high inflation, interest rate increases and risks of a global economic slowdown, according to Rathian.
Krungthai’s shares have declined 9.8% so far this year compared with an 6.8% fall in the benchmark SET Index and a 15% drop in its sub-gauge of financial companies.
The company in January reported a record full-year net income of 7.08 billion baht ($205 million) in 2022, a 21% increase from a year earlier.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
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