The Siam Commercial Bank Public Company Limited (SET: SCB) stated that with Thailand gradually recovering from the pandemic, the GDP growth for 2021 is forecasted at 1.1% and expected to pick up by 3.2% in 2022 with the number of tourists estimated at 5.9 million, compared to 39.7 million of foreign tourists before the pandemic.
The bank plans to grow its loan book at around 3-5% while still focusing on quality growth with acceptable risk/return. With this policy in place and the impact from the comprehensive debt restructuring, NIM is expected to be in the 2.9-3.0% range.
Non-NII is expected to grow at a low single digit. Bancassurance and wealth products remain the key growth drivers. Investment gains can be expected to be meaningful but are subject to various uncontrollable external factors. With the pressure on income, cost discipline will continue to be a key focus in 2022. While activities should pick up with macro recovery, the Bank aims to maintain its cost-to-income ratio in the low-to-mid-40s range.
Following SCB’s proactive debt restructuring plan that started in mid-2021 and qualitative downgrades to NPL already done in the past 6 quarters, the NPL ratio is expected to be not more than 4.0% at the end of 2022. As significant amounts of provisions have been set aside in the past two years, coupled with the comprehensive debt restructuring progress, SCB expects provisions to come down to no more than 140 bps while coverage ratio will be maintained at around 130%. This guidance provided by the bank is subject to economic uncertainties and has not incorporated the full outcome of SCBX’s restructuring including ongoing acquisition deals and set up of certain new subsidiaries.
On January 21, 2022, SCB reported a net profit of Baht 35,598 million for its operation in 2021, representing an increase by 30.79% from a net profit of Baht 27,217 million in 2020. The increase was mainly due to higher operating profit and lower provisions. Pre-provision operating profit grew 7.9% YoY to Baht 86.8 billion, mainly as a result of non-interest income growth and effective cost control.