Awards for Excellence 2008: Thailand
Best bank: Siam Commercial Bank
Best investment bank: Standard Chartered
Thailand’s political climate is somewhat more settled than when this award was given last year, but rising energy costs and inflation worries mean a tough economic environment. There are positive signs in the banking sector, though, and the winner of this year’s award for best bank, Siam Commercial Bank, has shown strong growth. The bank, the country’s third largest by assets, posted the highest growth rate among Thai banks in 2007, with net profits up 31%. Having raised lending rates in June this year in response to economic concerns, SCB might struggle to repeat a stellar first quarter in which it posted record profits of Bt6.79 billion ($204 million – up 68.7% quarter on quarter), but its performance over the past 12 months has been strong.