July 17--The Government Savings Bank (GSB) is set to extend up to 1 billion baht worth of loans to lottery vendors suffering from the junta's policy of selling tickets at the official 80-baht price nationwide.
The state-owned bank will discuss the matter with the Government Lottery Office (GLO) next week to find measures to help troubled lottery vendors, said acting president Tachaphol Kanjanakul.
The National Council for Peace and Order had requested retail lottery vendors sell each pair of tickets for 80 baht to tackle the problem of overpricing. Then the junta temporarily allowed sales at 90 baht.
Given that the cost of each lottery vendor stands at 75,000 baht per draw, the GSB plans to loan 100,000 to 200,000 baht per vendor, Mr Tachaphol said.
He said the borrowing required lottery tickets as collateral, or guarantees from three individuals or the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation if the ticket value is not enough for the loan.
The GSB is also seeking a way to allow it to seize the borrowers' lottery quota and sell it to others if they fail to service the debt.
It will apply the model of its People's Bank scheme for lottery vendor loans but revise some criteria as appropriate.
It is possible the loan rate for the scheme will not exceed the People's Bank rate of 1% per month, with the government subsidising any excess interest.
GLO chairman Somchai Sujjapongse said a decision on lottery vendor loans was expected this month and would then be forwarded to the executive boards of the GLO and the GSB.
Mr Tachaphol said the GSB's net loan growth this year is likely to outpace its 75.5-billion-baht target as well as 93.1 billion in new lending last year, with the bank's net lending up by 93 billion during the first half thanks to its recent term-loan auctions of 70 billion baht to pay overdue debt to rice farmers.
Based on the bank's excess liquidity of 170 billion baht, it can lend an additional 50 billion baht.
The GSB's outstanding loans amounted to 1.68 trillion baht at the end of last year.
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