Thailand Kasikornbank focuses on wealthy business owners in Laos and Myanmar

Kasikornbank (KBank) aims to target affluent customers in neighbouring countries as part of its efforts to push towards 10% growth in assets under management (AUM) for its wealth management business this year. 

Laotian business owners key

Executive vice-president Pakorn Partanapat said wealth among Laotian business owners is increasing, propelled by their dynamic economic growth.

This group will be KBank’s main focus, he said, adding these customers frequently travel to border towns in Udon Thani province for financial and healthcare services as well as shopping. A number of Laotian customers have deposit and bancassurance accounts at KBank’s Udon Thani branch.

Wealthy Myanmar people are another KBank target, he said.

The upcoming formation of an integrated market under the Asean Economic Community, due to kick off late next year, should be another driver of growth for the regional economy, particularly for frontier markets such as Laos and Myanmar.

KBank, the country’s fourth-largest lender by asset size, requires minimum assets of 10 million baht for the bank’s Wisdom wealth service.

There are 118,000 KBank wealth customers with a combined AUM of 1.1 trillion baht, representing nearly 80% of the industry’s 153,000 wealth clients.

Mr Pakorn said the bank targets 20% growth in its wealth management customer base this year.

Its client base expansion upcountry, including wealthy Asean citizens who run businesses in Thailand, will be the bank’s key strategy to achieve its goal.

Provincial clients account for 30% of the bank’s total wealth management customers, and that figure is expected to increase to 35% by the final quarter of this year.

Yesterday the bank unveiled the Lounge@CentralEmbassy. It currently has 87 Wisdom centres nationwide and KBank plans to open 47 more by the end of this year.

KBank also plans to open a Vientiane branch in Laos, with the Wisdom centre offering financial services exclusively to local wealthy customers, said Mr Pakorn. He did not elaborate on a time frame for the Vientiane branch opening.

The bank now offers intelligent deposit boxes, the first robot technology service in Thailand, at the Wisdom Lounge@Central Embassy to facilitate convenience and security. KBank spent 70 million baht on the innovative technology.

KBANK shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 204 baht, up two baht, in heavy trade worth 1.26 billion baht.

Bangkok Post

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