May 15, 2017 / 9:12 AM / 3 months ago

Thai banks' bad loans seen peaking this year: central bank

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai commercial banks' non-performing loans are expected to peak later this year as the country's economic recovery has yet to become broad-based, a senior central bank official said on Monday.

Banks may see their lending increasing 4-6 percent in 2017 if production and investment pick up in the second-half of the year, Daranee Saeju, senior director of the central bank's financial institutions strategy department, told reporters

Banks' NPLs rose to 2.94 percent of lending in the first quarter of this year from 2.83 percent in the previous period.

Lending at banks increased 2.8 percent in the March quarter from a year earlier. In 2016, it rose 2 percent, the lowest level in seven years.

Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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