Thailand’s LH Bank delays strategic partner plan on weak market

Visual sourced from LH Bank website

Thailand’s LH Financial Group is in no hurry to agree a strategic partnership due to weak market conditions after a sharp fall in the Thai stock market, the group’s chairman said on Thursday.

The group has been in talks with three potential Asian partners to buy a stake of up to 50 percent in wholly-owned LH Bank, Thailand’s smallest lender, Anant Asavabhokhin told reporters on the sidelines of a property seminar.

“We are not in a hurry (to make a decision). Market sentiment is not quite good,” he said, without giving details.

LH Bank, which specialises in home loans and has assets of about 187 billion baht ($5.1 billion), has long sought a strategic partner to strengthen its electronic banking business and fend off fierce competition from its bigger rivals.

Land and Houses, Thailand’s largest home builder, owns 34.1 percent of LH Financial. Quality Houses PCL is the second-largest shareholder, with 21.34 percent.

Anant, also executive chairman of Land and Houses, said the Thai property market had nearly bottomed out and expected the sector to pick up next year.

Shares in LH Financial have fallen 10 percent in the past 12 months, versus a 15 percent drop in the Thai index. ($1 = 36.4100 baht) (

Writing by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by David Holmes)

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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