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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Half of Thai Bank Credits Called Bad

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand's central bank announced Monday that nonperforming loans in the domestic banking system accounted for nearly half of the country's outstanding loans as of Oct. 31.

The soured loans - defined as those on which no payment has been received for at least three months - account for 40.5 percent of bank loans and fully 63.6 percent at non-bank finance companies.

The figures reflect the depth of the problems affecting Thailand's financial system after an economic meltdown triggered by the flotation of the nation's currency in mid-1997.

As the value of the Thai baht plummeted, companies with large exposure to foreign currency-based financing went broke - leaving behind a massive load of bad debts. Thailand was forced to seek a $17.2 billion international bailout to deal with the economic crisis.

Total banking sector bad debt was 2.25 trillion baht ($62.5 billion) and 300.5 billion baht ($8.3 billion) at the finance companies, the Bank of Thailand said.