4 Thai banks exit Laos citing economic downturn

Four significant Thai banks—Thai Military Bank, Bank of Ayudhya, CIMB Thai Bank, and Bangkok Bank—have decided to close their Laos branches. The Lao government has tightened rules, notably in such areas as lending and managing foreign currencies, which has made doing business there more difficult. Furthermore, over the previous three years, foreign commercial banks had to increase the minimum registered capital for each branch from 100 billion kip, or about USD 5.10 million, to 300 billion kip, or USD 15.29 million, which had an impact on operational costs. While inflation and the value of the Lao kip have been sources of worry, they have been overshadowed by perceived regulatory difficulties and a decline in corporate activity.


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