Established a year later in 1945, Kasikornbank (BKK:KBANK) is Thailand’s fourth-largest bank. The company provides a broad range of consumer, commercial and corporate banking services, including lending, deposit-taking, credit-card services, international-trade financing, custodian services, asset management, investment banking, life insurance and leasing. Moreover, Kasikornbank is the leader in Thailand’s small-/mid-enterprise lending market, which offers higher margins than retail and corporate lending segments.
The Thai banking industry is in the midst of a credit cycle where asset quality started deteriorating in 2015 due to the slowing economy. In descending order of credit risk, small-/ mid-enterprise lending has represented the highest level of non-performing loans, followed by retail and corporate lending. However, we believe both Bangkok Bank and Kasikornbank are well positioned in the market and offer a margin of safety at their current prices—even after adjusting for further credit deterioration over the next few years. Continue Reading »