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Banks offer mortgages ahead of rejig

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Banks are keen to offer low-rate mortgages at this year's Money Expo, ahead of the Bank of Thailand's tighter mortgage regulations coming into force next April.

State-owned Government Savings Bank (GSB) is offering a zero-rate mortgage refinancing for the first six months, with an average 3% rate for the first three years at the five-day Money Expo, which runs through Sunday.

Bank of Ayudhya is offering a mortgage with a 0.5% rate for the first three months and a 50% discount on the appraisal fee for those who apply at the expo.

Kasikornbank's mortgage product at the fair has a rate averaging 3.75% for the first three years, while Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) -- the country's largest mortgage lender -- is offering a 30-year loan maturity and a mortgage fee waiver.

SCB is also providing maximum credit of 20 million baht for its home-for-cash product.

GH Bank is offering a mortgage with a 0.99% interest rate for the first four months at the expo. The state-owned housing lender's mortgage maturity lasts 40 years, with waivers of the front-end and mortgage fees and a low appraisal fee.

Chatchai Payuhanaveechai, GSB's president, said the bank is also offering an SME loan with a 1% rate and maximum lending of 100 million baht at the expo. The bank's Smart Startup Smart SME loan offers zero interest for one year.

GSB also provides a 105-day deposit account with a step-up interest rate of 4% on average.

Mr Chatchai said the bank aims for 6% lending and 2-3% deposit growth this year.

At the end of October, the bank's net lending amounted to 107 billion baht, up 5% year-on-year. GSB's loans outstanding totalled 2.1 trillion baht, while total deposits were 2.3 trillion.

The bank targets net lending growth of 4-6% in 2019, in line with its economic growth forecast of 4%, while its deposits are expected to rise by 4%.

Santi Viriyarungsarit, president of Money Expo, estimates more than 20 billion baht worth of transactions from over 400,000 visitors will take place at the fair.

Loans are expected to be the major contributor for this year's financial transactions at the fair, while health insurance products are projected to gain in popularity.

There are more than 80 banks and non-bank financial institutions joining this year's expo.

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