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SME Bank cuts bad loans to get out of ailing state enterprise list

Small & Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand cut 7 billion baht of bad loans from its balance sheet in 2016 in an effort to remove its name from Thailand's list of financially ailing state enterprises, the Bangkok Post reported Dec. 21.

The State Enterprises Policy Commission said the state-owned bank can be removed from the list if it lowers its bad loans to under 18 billion baht and less than 5% of its new bad loans. The bank's nonperforming loans totaled about 18.8 billion, or 18% of outstanding loans, as of Nov. 30.

The bank expects NPLs to reach 18 billion baht in 2016 and plans to cut that amount to 16.6 billion baht in 2017.

SME Bank, along with six other state enterprises, including Islamic Bank of Thailand, is under rehabilitation after the state-owned bank suffered a massive net loss of 4.03 billion baht in 2012. It bounced back to a net profit of 396 million baht in 2013.

As of Dec. 21, US$1 was equivalent to 36.02 Thai baht.