Thai Islamic bank swings to profit, trims bad debt

State-owned Islamic Bank of Thailand made an unaudited profit of 2.7 billion baht ($82.4 million) last year, compared to a loss of 13.25 billion baht a year earlier. Non-performing loans were cut by more than 20 billion baht last year, with about 27 billion baht of NPLs left on its balance sheet. Management now aims to increase capital levels to comply with regulatory requirements. The bank faced several problems in 2013 which affected its image and clients' confidence, leading to a liquidity crisis. The bank, rated BBB- by Fitch, now plans to increase loans by 20 billion baht, focusing on small and medium-sized businesses and retail clients, while growing deposits by about 25 billion baht in 2014. It maintains plans to issue sukuk this year to support expansion plans.