PRIVATE EQUITY | Cesar Tordesillas, Thailand

New Thai group Kiatnakin-Phatra Financial joins the fray

A new entity, named Kiatnakin-Phatra Financial Group, aims will offer both commercial banking and capital-market products and services, with strong aspiration to excel in all core areas.

Kiatnakin-Phatra Financial Group emerged after Kiatnakin Bank has completed its merger with Phatra Capital.

It will transfer Kiatnakin Securities and Kiatnakin Fund Management to Phatra next year.

Kiatnakin now holds 99.928 per cent of Phatra.

Banyong Pongpanich will assume the posts of executive chairman and chief executive officer of Kiatnakin-Phatra, Tawatchai Sudtikitpisan will be commercial banking chairman and president, and Aphinant Klewpatinond will be capital market chairman and president.

Supol Wattanavekin, chairman of Kiatnakin Bank, said Kiatnakin-Phatra would expand from Kiatnakin's mainly retail clients to Phatra's network of institutional investors, wealthy individuals and investment-banking clients. The firm will be under the leadership of Banyong, while Tawatchai and Aphinant will work closely with and report directly to him.

The new group will engage in a greater variety of businesses, allowing the firm to have more diversified revenue sources, stable financial performance and increased competitiveness, he said. The commercial-banking business will change its business direction, including expanding current business scope into new areas deemed as having high potential. Network and funding plans will be devised to support its growth strategy.

"We will boost cost efficiency in both operating and funding aspects to balance our growth strategy," Banyong said.

The group aims to widen the capital-market business by using the ample resources in its capital base, expertise and franchise network to enlarge institutional and individual clients to extract optimal synergies.

Kiatnakin Bank's loans in August grew by 1.6 per cent from July and 24.1 per cent from the same month last year. Loans in the first eight months were up by 17 per cent from the end of last year.

Automotive instalment loans are key driver of Kiatnakin Bank's loan portfolio, followed by lending to corporates and small and medium-sized enterprises.

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