Southeast Asia: Best Local Bank in the Region for BRI 2018
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Southeast Asia: Best Local Bank in the Region for BRI 2018

Siam Commercial Bank

Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) consistently puts itself in a strong position to serve both Chinese companies expanding into Thailand and local firms making the return journey.

The Bangkok lender opened its first full branch in Shanghai in May, staffed by 19 professionals, adding to its presence in Hong Kong (where it has been present since 1979) and in Beijing. In the 12 months to the end of June, it organized and led seven Sino-Thai seminars and roadshows, in first-tier (Beijing), second-tier (Wuhan, Fuzhou) and third-tier (Weifang, Liaocheng) mainland cities.

It is also due to attend and co-sponsor the China-Asean Expo, another key event which is slated for September, to be held in Nanjing. SCB is clearly a go-to lender for mainland corporates expanding south of China’s border.

Over the last three years, it has led the largest China-led corporate investments in Thailand, including, in 2017, a five-year, $210 million syndicated financing for Canadian Solar, one of China’s big-three solar module manufacturers, and post-acquisition financing for Guangdong Guangken Rubber, to smooth its integration with its Thai business.

The bank facilitated $14.2 billion-worth of trade between the two countries in full year 2017, and another $6.5 billion-worth of bilateral commerce in the first four months of 2018. And it has launched specific products that cater to firms in both countries, including SCB China Express and a yuan-denominated trade settlement service that offers same-day dollar transfers into mainland China.

SCB is just getting started. It has an outstanding $1 billion credit line that services more than 50 Chinese corporates. In early 2018, it added a Mandarin language service, catering to its corporate internet-banking customers, and rolled out a pre-approved loan programme that helps China corporates to buy land inside designated Thailand-based industrial zones.