Thai shares of SCB and AIS surge after online lending joint venture

BANGKOK: Shares of Thailand’s third-largest lender, Siam Commercial Bank, surged in morning trading on Wednesday, September 22, after announcing a joint venture with the country’s leading mobile network, Advanced Info Service (AIS) .

Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) and AIS announced on Tuesday evening the creation of AISCB, to provide loans online through online platforms.

The announcement sent SCB shares up nearly 5% when the markets opened. AIS shares rose almost 3% compared to the benchmark’s gain of 0.1%.

“The joint venture will create financial products that meet broad demand with digital technology as a key driver,” they said in a statement.

Analysts were positive about the partnership.

“This is the only digital loan proposal that has any chance of long-term success,” said Maria Lapiz, head of institutional research at Maybank Kim Eng, citing the company’s user base and infrastructure of phone.

AIS, which has 43 million mobile subscribers in Thailand, will own equal shares in the company.

The bank could use the behavioral information of AIS customers to support the underwriting process, said Yuvanart Suwanumphai, analyst at Finansia Syrus.

SCB chief executive Arthid Nanthawithaya was due to hold a press conference later on Wednesday.

Rival lender Kasikokrnbank launched a digital lending push with Japanese operator of mobile chat apps LINE and launched services last year.

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David A. Albanese