Thai Bank of Ayudhya Q1 net profit down 19 pct, misses forecast

BANGKOK, April 18 Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:30am EDT

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BANGKOK, April 18 (Reuters) - Thailand's fifth-largest lender, Bank of Ayudhya, said first-quarter net profit slid 19 percent as a slowing economy and political unrest hit consumption and loan growth, squeezing its earnings well below expectations.

The bank, 72 percent-owned by Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, said on Friday it made a net profit of 3.27 billion baht ($101.3 million) in the January-March quarter, down from 4 billion baht a year earlier.

That was below the average forecast of 3.9 billion baht by four analysts polled by Reuters.

Earlier this month, Bank of Ayudhya cut its loan growth target for this year to 7 percent-9 percent to reflect the country's weaker economic outlook and political uncertainty.

($1 = 32.1750 Thai Baht) (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Kenneth Maxwel)

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