Saw this in the news the other day and was surprised that not more people picked up on this. Its a positive thing for Thailand that international banks will be allowed to expand further in Thailand, although the steps are small at first i.e. only 20 branches and 20 off-premise ATMs, eventually these banks will be allowed to set up full blown operations here, the possible impact of this is that Thai banks will have a harder time competing on a balance sheet basis.

The Bank of Thailand will issue five licences to foreign banks who are seeking to set up subsidiaries in Thailand.

The move would allow them to open up to 20 branches and 20 off-premise ATMs.

The permission is in accordance with the Financial Sector Master Plan’s Phase II (2010- 2014), which aims to improve efficiency of the financial system and support regional activities.

Source: The Nation

    • Quite simply, Thai banks have smaller balance sheets than international ones, and international banks (ie US) have access to cheaper funding, so if the market here was to become fully open Thai banks could potentially have difficulty competing as the funding costs here are generally higher.

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