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GH Bank to push B3.9bn in non-performing assets sales

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State-owned GH Bank aims to fetch 3.9 billion baht from disposing of its non-performing assets (NPAs) this year, its chairman says.

The bank wants to put 4,000 NPAs up for sale this year, rising from 3,500 last year, chairman Surachai Danaitangtrakun said at the bank's used home expo.

GH Bank raised 3 billion baht from selling its NPAs in 2017.

To attract buyers, the bank is offering no-interest for the first two years on mortgages to those who provide a 20% down payment.

Potential buyers are also being offered no-interest on a 60-month instalment for down payment, but those eligible for the option must earn monthly income of up to 25,000 baht and purchase the bank's NPAs worth no more than 2 million baht.

Selling NPAs is a popular tool for banks to remove bad assets from their balance sheets and bring down impaired loans.

GH Bank now has 10,000 NPAs worth 8 billion baht.

The state-controlled mortgage lender is selling NPAs either directly at the fair to buyers or via auctions with the lowest reference price at 50,000 baht and the highest at 5 million.

High-interest-rate savings are also available at GH Bank's 2018 Expo, which runs through Sunday.

Mr Surachai said the bank's NPA sale target would be in reach in light of the economic recovery. Krungthai Bank is also putting 6,000 of its NPAs on sale at the fair.

Earlier, another specialised financial institution, the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank), planned to divest 5.2 billion baht worth of its bad loans that cannot be restructured as part of efforts to bring its non-performing loan (NPL) ratio below 10%, down from 18-19%. Some 2 billion baht of the 5.2 billion in NPLs is to be put under the hammer this year.

These bad loans have been extended for more than a decade, with liquidation taking the debt off of the bank's books.

Earlier this year, SME Bank received approval from the State Enterprises Policy Commission or superboard to exit its rehabilitation plan after improving its operating performance and cutting NPLs over the past three years.

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