BANGKOK, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Thailand’s largest lender, Bangkok Bank Pcl full-year net profit rose 7 percent on higher net interest income and fee income, it said on Friday.
Bangkok Bank’s 2018 net profit of 35.3 billion baht ($1.11 billion) missed expectations of 36.2 billion baht, based on 21 analysts in a Refinitiv poll.
Net interest income grew 7.1 percent, while loan growth was 4 percent.
The lender bucked an industry trend and reported non-interest income of 50 billion baht, up 9.1 percent from a year earlier.
Last year, Thai banks waived transaction fees, sending fee income down at rival banks.
“Despite the exemption of transaction fees via digital channels, net fees and service income were close to the level of the previous year due to good growth in fee income from bancassurance and mutual funds,” it said in a statement.
The announcement comes as growth in Southeast Asia’s second largest economy slows. The World Bank expects the economy to grow 3.8 percent in 2019, down from a previous estimate of 3.9 percent.
The bank said infrastructure projects and production relocation to Thailand would drive private investment in 2019.
$1 = 31.7100 baht Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng Editing by Edmund Blair