Aug. 26--Sukhumvit Asset Management (SAM) is in talks with the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank) in a bid to buy the state-owned bank's distressed debts worth 20 billion baht.
SAM, the country's largest asset management corporation at 437 billion baht, expressed interest in buying all the non-performing loans (NPLs) of SME Bank since it announced a possible sale, said SAM president Chookiat Jittimaitriskul.
He said talks were ongoing due to unclear regulations regarding asset sales of state-owned banks.
"We've positioned ourselves as the government's instrument for bad asset management.
But the asset valuations will be in line with market prices, just as with private bad asset purchases," said Mr Chookiat.
This year SAM plans to buy 20 billion baht more of bad assets from financial institutions, with a focus on secured bad debts of private financial institutions.
SAM plans to reduce the firm's distressed assets portfolio by about 20 billion baht, some 5-6% of the total portfolio, leaving it on a par with 2013.
It targets total 2014 revenue of 17 billion baht, up by 10% from last year.
The company manages all types of bad assets including retail, SME, corporate loans and residential, differentiating it from the national asset management corporation Bangkok Commercial Asset Management (BAM), as BAM only manages commercial sector bad assets.
Some 415 billion baht of SAM's assets are NPLs, with 22 billion in non-performing assets (NPAs).
BAM's total assets under management are 431.9 billion baht ? 396 billion in NPLs and 35.9 billion NPAs.
SAM was established in 2000 to manage the bad assets of Krungthai Bank and other assets that were liquidated from three local bankrupted banks following the Thai financial crisis of 1997.
Related search: asset management, SAM, Krungthai Bank
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