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Getting Rid of the Rust: Three years after the Crisis, many in the Asiaweek Financial 500 are in the black. Will profitability last?

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Australia China IndonesiaJapanPhilippinesSingaporeSouth KoreaTaiwan Thailand Hong Kong Malaysia
and the best performing banks in India Sri LankaPakistanBangladesh


Money and Investing: Riding the hottest financial stocks in Asia (plus the 100 hottest bank stocks)

Foreign Invasion?: Overseas banks go slow on buyouts
Technology: The nitty gritty of Internet banking
Halfway at full speed: Hong Kong and Singapore rebound
The Acquired: What Danu Bank learned form its new owner
The Home-Alone Bank: Why Taiwan's Chinatrust didn't expand

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Thailand: Struggling Out of a Deep Hole
Snapshot: 13 banks in the 500 (1999: 13) Assets: $144.9b. ($152b.) Profits: -$8.4b. ($-9.3b.)

After two-and-a-half years of recession, a recovering economy is allowing banks to rebuild pudding-like capital bases. But the banks didn't fill up on bad loans overnight, and there is no quick fix. Check back next year.

RESTRUCTURING Fifteen local banks are down to 12, five of which have been bought by foreign institutions. Expect at least one more such sale and a merger or two by 2002.

LENDING After two years of declines, it wouldn't take much to show a year-on-year increase. Consider the expected net loan growth this year of 2% to officially be "not much."

REGULATION Post-crisis Thailand has put in place disclosure laws and accounting standards on a par with much of the region. But bankruptcy and civil courts have often coddled loan defaulters.

LIBERALIZATION Rules that currently allow foreign entities to own 100% of Thai banks are set to become more restrictive after 2008.

Performance Topnotchers: 10 Best Performing Banks
   Institution  HQ
$ Mill
$ Mill
Profit as % of



Assets Equity
1 BANGKOK BANK Bangkok 31,495 -1,594.6 74
2 KRUNG THAI BANK Bangkok 26,458 -2,451.3 85
3 THAI FARMERS BANK Bangkok 19,539 -1,253.2 112
4 SIAM COMMERCIAL BANK Bangkok 18,445 -947.5 118
5 BANK OF AYUDHYA Bangkok 11,901 -585.6 160
6 THAI MILITARY BANK Bangkok 8,929 -309.8 183
7 SIAM CITY BANK Bangkok 7,187 -204.3 206
8 BANKTHAI Bangkok 6,291 -512.3 229
9 BANGKOK METROPOLITAN BANK Bangkok 4,298 -159.6 279
10 BANK OF ASIA Bangkok 4,183 -299.0 284

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Rating show the number of banks in each category; "E" is the lowest grade for financial soundness. Souce: Moody's Investors Service

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