ENP Newswire - 31 January 2014 Release date- 29012014 - KASIKORNBANK indicated that current political uncertainty has impacted on credit card spending, tourism-related businesses including hotels, and gold which has dropped 7 percent, while furniture and supermarket sales buck the trend with positive growth. The Bank had anticipated K-Credit Card spending growth to rise by 30 percent this year. According to Mr. Chatchai Payuhanaveechai, Executive Vice President of KASIKORNBANK , political uncertainty which has been ongoing since late last year, has produced a psychological impact on credit card spending through both bill payments and cash advance services. Over the first three weeks of this year, January 1-22 , card spending via K-Credit Card rose 19 percent over-year, lower from 30 percent of growth in the same period last year, while the average card spending of the industry grew lower-than-expected at only 13 percent. During this period, K-Credit Card spending totaled 14 billion Baht , against 11.80 billion Baht for the same period in 2013, while cash advances stood at 1.59 billion Baht , compared to 1.38 billion Baht for the same period in 2013. This mirrors customers' rising demands for cash due to current household debts and their delay in spending over the past year. As a result of current political uncertainty, a decrease in credit card spending was evident in some industries including tourism-related businesses as well as jewelry and accessories. During the first three weeks of the year, card spending in the tourism sector has apparently slowed from the 52-percent growth in 2013, to only 9 percent in 2014, while spending on hotels dropped from 21 percent in 2013 to 0 percent growth this year. Credit card holders also spent less on restaurants and dining out, with growth decreasing from 26 percent to 19 percent, while figures slid from 23 percent to 14 percent in gas stations. As for the gold business, during the same period, credit card spending fell from an increase of 33 percent to a negative growth of 7 percent. Nevertheless, card spending in some businesses recorded a higher over-year growth including furniture rising from 17 percent in 2013 to 30 percent in 2014; supermarket spending from 3 percent to 8 percent, and life insurance from 26 percent to 33 percent indicating signs of rising numbers of insurance policyholders among Thais. Mr. Chatchai added that KBank aims to see credit card spending in 2014 growing 30 percent to 310 billion Baht .
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