Krung Thai Bank, Thailand’s second-largest lender as ranked by assets, reported a better-than-expected 16 percent rise in quarterly net profit on Monday as a result of loan growth, lower provisions and falling operating costs.
The bank was confident that it would exceed its 2012 loan growth target of 7 percent due to stronger-than-expected performance in the first quarter, President Abisak Tantivorawong said in a statement.
The state-owned bank posted a January-March net profit of 6.38 billion baht ($206 million), or 0.57 baht per share, up from 5.49 billion a year earlier.
It was expected to post a net profit of 6 billion baht, according to 10 analysts polled by Reuters.
The government owns 55 percent of Krung Thai Bank through the Financial Institutions Development Fund.
Krung Thai shares have underperformed markets in recent weeks due to concerns about a possible capital raising. But the bank has said it did not need to raise capital in the near term.
On Monday, Krung Thai said its financial position was strong and has sufficient capital to expand its business as planned.
At the end of March, its tier 1 capital was at 8.30 percent of its risk-weighted assets, higher than the 4.25 percent required by the central bank, and its total capital fund was at 13.08 percent, more than the minimum 8.50 percent requirement.
The bank’s first-quarter total loan rose 4.57 percent from the end of 2011.
First-quarter cost-to-income ratio was 48.54 percent, down from 49.32 percent in the same period last year as a result of an increase in net interest income and net fee and services income, the statement said.
Before the earnings announcement, Krung Thai Bank shares were unchanged at 17.30 baht at the midday break, while the broad market was 0.44 percent higher.
The stock has dropped 6.5 percent in the past month, underperforming a 1.3 percent rise of market leader Bangkok Bank, which reported a 25 percent rise in net profit on Friday.