STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Maybank Kim Eng raises Krung Thai bank price target

Maybank Kim Eng Securities raised its price target on state run Krung Thai Bank Pcl to 25 baht from 19 baht, reflecting strong loan growth outlook boosted by government spending.

On Monday, Krung Thai Bank shares closed down 0.5 percent at 18.6 baht. It was up 32.7 percent in 2012 versus a 36.6 percent gain of the banking subindex .

The broker raised loan growth forecasts for 2012-2014 to 12.3 percent, 14.1 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively, outperforming banking sector average of 10 percent while net profit was expected to rise by a 32.6 percent compound annual growth rate for 2012-2014, it said in a report.

"After the Lehman crisis in 2008-09, Thai loan demand recovered strongly. In 2010-11, the corporate loan demand was for private investment and M&A deals. This year, 2012, is the year of retail banking from government stimulus policies," it said.

"From 2013F onward, we believe the government seven year mega projects of 2.27 trillion baht will create the next loan demand wave, and we expect KTB to gain the most," it said.

0903 (0203 GMT) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; (Editing by G.Ram Mohan)