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Bank launches mortgages for foreigners

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Bank launches mortgages for foreigners | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Bangkok Bank has broken ranks with the Thai banking establishment to become the first Thai bank to offer mortgages targeted firmly at foreigners wanting to buy property in Thailand.

The mortgages are fairly limited in scope – they can be applied only to condos; the buyer must come up with the first 50% of the purchase price; and the mortgage term is only 10 years – but they are being hailed as a breakthrough by property developers and real estate agents.

The inability of foreigners to get mortgages to cover home purchases in Thailand has put developers and real estate agents at a disadvantage when compared with other tropical destinations where mortgages are available.

The loans, launched quietly over the past couple of months, are available through Bangkok Bank’s branches in Singapore and Hong Kong, and will normally be denominated in US, Hong Kong or Singapore dollars. Other currencies may be considered – but not baht.

In Hong Kong, where branch General Manager Phaithul Tejasakulsin said the bank has made “one or two” loans, the amount that can be borrowed ranges from HK$1 million to HK$5 million (approximately 5 million to 25 million baht). Loans are made only to Hong Kong residents.

In Singapore the range is from S$100,000 to S$1 million (about 2.5 million to 25 million baht) The loans currently carry annual interest of around 7.5%.

In addition there are fees attached. In Hong Kong, for example, a processing fee of around 125,000 baht is payable when the borrower accepts the bank’s letter of offer. About 50,000 baht of this is refunded when the loan is drawn down. In addition, at the start, 1.5% of the loan amount must be handed over to the bank as a “prepayment fee”.

The Head of the Thai Desk at Bangkok Bank in Singapore, Yaovaluk Suksathit, said that the bank there had made more than 20 loans. The Singapore branch has been pushing the service more aggressively than Hong Kong.

For example, in Hong Kong mortgages are available only for buying freehold condominiums, whereas in Singapore loans will be considered for other types of property, including homes on leased land, said K. Yaovaluk.

“It all depends on the structure,” she explained. “We have done some.” The average mortgage to foreigners granted so far by Bangkok Bank in Singapore has been about US$200,000 (8 million baht), she told the Gazette.

The mortgages may be available later through other Bangkok Bank branches, said K. Phaithul – the London office, for example. “I think [the bank] will probably look at it,” he said. Hong Kong, Singapore and Britain are regarded as the three major markets for Phuket home buyers.

K. Yaovaluk said that she and her team had visited Phuket and Koh Samui over the past couple of months to talk with property developers. This was apparently news, however, to the President of the Phuket Real Estate Club, Phummisak Hongsyok.

He welcomed the scheme, however, praising the management of Bangkok Bank for having “good vision and professionalism”, and for a move that will benefit Thailand and the Phuket property sector in particular.

“Thai banks have never loaned money to foreigners to buy property because it was difficult to secure the loans when a foreigner could not own land in Thailand,” he told the Gazette.

“There are many expatriates in Hong Kong who are interested in buying a home in Phuket because the cost of property and land here is cheaper than in Hong Kong,” K. Phummisak noted.

“Bangkok Bank has good vision and has increased the opportunities for people interested in having a house in Thailand.”



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Phuket

Phuket declares rabies outbreak zone in Chalong

The Thaiger

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Phuket declares rabies outbreak zone in Chalong | The Thaiger

A district livestock development office in Phuket province has announced a Rabies outbreak zone in the Chalong area yesterday.

Sutat Niyomthai, Chief of livestock development officer of Mueang Phuket District, has announced that the Baan Na Yai, Moo 4 village in Tambon Chalong is a designated outbreak zone after a dog tested positive for Rabies.

A rabies temporary control zone will run from January 17 to February 16 in a radius around the Moo 4 village in Tambon Chalong:

• North to Baan Ketho in Moo 7, Kathu.

• South: to Baan Bang Kontee in Moo 5, Rawai.

• East: To Baan Borea in Moo 6, Wichit.

• West: To Karon Temple in Moo 1, Karon.

Phuket declares rabies outbreak zone in Chalong | News by The ThaigerPhuket declares rabies outbreak zone in Chalong | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Chumphon woman, working in Phuket, wins first prize in lottery

The Thaiger

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Chumphon woman, working in Phuket, wins first prize in lottery | The Thaiger

A woman from Chumphon, who helps out her sister in Phuket, returned to her hometown last week where she bought a lottery ticket.

The ticket won her the first prize in the lottery.

38 year old Thai woman Chonrada Laimer from Chumphon went to Chalong Police Station yesterday with the first prize lottery ticket number 197079. The weekly lottery numbers were announced yesterday. She claims 6 million baht as the first prize.

Khun Chonrada says, “I am from Chumphon. I help my sister to sell goods in Rawai during high season. I had to visit my home in Chumphon last week and bought the lottery ticket there. It is the number of my car number plate. Then I returned to Phuket.”

“I am very happy. I will use this money to fix my parent’s house. I will still help my sister to sell goods.”

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Phuket

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days

The Thaiger

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Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Facebook/Claire Johnson

An Australian woman, who was caught overstaying her visa by 111 days, will be released from detention and deported by Thai authorities tonight.

She came to the media’s attention on Monday after sending urgent messages to a friend saying that she was being taken to a detention centre and that “they are taking my phone”.

46 year old Claire Amelia Johnson is an Australian Gold Coast resident. She will depart Bangkok on a QANTAS flight scheduled to arrive in Sydney tomorrow (Friday) morning.

She was due to return to Australia more than a week ago but on Monday evening sent messages to her friend Juliet Potter and told her that she was in an immigration detention centre in Bangkok and begged her to please “help me”.

Read The Thaiger story about her desperate pleas HERE.

Ms Johnson had been running a medical tourism business called Cosmetic Holidays International that offered cosmetic packages in Phuket”.

The business was voluntarily deregistered with the Australian Securities Commission in May 2017, after five years of operation, but her social media accounts continued to promote her cosmetic-surgery tourism business.

Thailand’s immigration chief, Surachate Hakparn, told Australia’s Fairfax media that Ms Johnson had been arrested, as well as fined, and would be deported after overstaying her tourist visa by more than 100 days.

“My Immigration Department will send her to Australia. She leaves tonight.”

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would say only that it was “providing consular assistance to an Australian woman detained in Thailand”, without naming Claire.

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | News by The Thaiger

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