Thursday, October 22, 2009

Business Times: CIMB Thai to sell office block

October 22, 2009
CIMB Thai to sell office block

(KUALA LUMPUR) CIMB Thai Bank plc, a 94 per cent subsidiary of the CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, is selling its office block in Sathorn, Bangkok for one billion baht (S$41.7 million), as part of its rationalisation plan to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

The sale is expected to be completed by December, it said in a statement yesterday. 'Currently we are operating with excess space, as the bank's office operations in Bangkok are spread between its buildings in Sathorn and Langsuan.

'By early next year, we will all be operating from one site at Langsuan building,' said CIMB Thai president and chief executive officer, Subhak Siwaraksa.

The Sathorn property consists of a 26-storey tower block and a three-storey building with a land area of 2,706 square metres.

The sale is in line with the bank's policy of remaining asset-light and to use its capital more effectively. 'As a banking and financial services provider, CIMB Thai should use its balance sheet to generate more lending and income, instead of weighing it down with property assets,' Mr Siwaraksa said.

CIMB Thai, a commercial bank with 147 branches in Thailand, offers a wide range of financial products like stockbroking and corporate advisory, mutual funds, wealth management and insurance.

As of end June this year, its total assets and shareholders' funds stood at 134 billion baht and 7.1 billion baht respectively.

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