Although the increase missed forecasts, bad loan provisions were outweighed by wider margins and gains in investments, the bank explained. Higher net interest and dividend income rose by 3.6 per cent during the last three months of 2006 compared to the previous year helped to boost its profits.
Net earnings at the bank reached 4.05 billion baht ($115.2 million) during the fourth quarter, but this was slightly down on a poll of analysts carried out by Reuters, which had suggested Bangkok Bank would make 4.64 billion baht during the final quarter.
Bangkok Bank is Thailand's largest by assets and it has set aside 5.9 billion baht in provisions during the fourth quarter to comply with the new laws under International Accounting Standard 39 (IAS 39), which demands that banks set up 100 per cent reserves for non-performing loans.
It is anticipated that demand for new loans will increase over the course of 2007, pushing up profits even further during the year.