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Thailand's 3rd largest bank to expand branches in China
2005-06-23 07:41:12 XinhuaEnglish

BANGKOK, June 23(Xinhuanet)-- Kasikornbank, Thailand's third largest commercial bank, will expand and upgrade its branches in China so as to learn more about the Chinese market and make further investment, the bank's CEO said here Thursday.

During an interview with Xinhua, Banthoon Lamsam said Kasikornbank is keeping close contact with Chinese market so that they can know more about the market.

Over the next three years, Kasikorn bank plans to lend to small-and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs) in China, focusing on medicines, liquor and electronic industries. It is also applying for RMB transaction business in its Shenzhen branch.

Kasikornbank has studied Chinese market for the past several years and is seeking a suitable platform from which to extend loans.

"It is a slow process, and we want it to be a solid one that will generate future progress, future development meaningful to both parties," he said.

At present, Kasikornbank has two branches in Shenzhen and Hong Kong as well as three representative offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Kunming.

To attract Chinese customers in Thailand, Banthoon said the bank is preparing itself to accept Chinese tourists, businessmen and other people.

"We will continue to make ourselves known to potential Chinese customers so that when they come to Thailand, they come to Kasikornbank for financial services."

Established in 1945, Kasikornbank ranks the third largest commercial bank in Thailand as measured by total assets, loans, and deposits. With a highly innovative background, the bank is credited with the introduction of a long line of new banking services in the kingdom.

In April, Kasikornbank started to provide network access to China Union Pay(CUP), the largest credit and debit card accepting network in China, using its Electronic Data Capture(EDC) machines at participating shops currently processing Visa and MasterCard transactions. It is the first Thai commercial bank that provides payment services for CUP cards.

By the end of this year, Kasikornbank plans to expand the number of CUP card accepting shops in Thailand to 2,000 from the current 500.

Speaking of Chinese financial market, Banthoon said in reforming and restructuring the market, a lot of plan needs to be put into place, so it is a big challenge for China to continue the progress smoothly with benefit to the country and its trading partners. Enditem

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