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  • S Landreth
    The week ending January 8th, 2021 the Thai Baht was being exchanged at 29.60 baht to every 1 US dollar.

    this poster says he's a money manager.......

    Originally posted by Talley Ho Ho Ho View Post
    I am thinking more like 40 baht to the dollar.
    and again,.......don't listen to him.
    • Exchange rates tipped for shaky 2021

    Volatility and malleability are key themes for this year's foreign exchange outlook, with the baht projected to appreciate further, fuelled by Thailand's surpluses in trade and current accounts, say economists.

    The baht breached 30 per US dollar near the end of 2020 and hovered around 29.9 against the greenback early this month, before retreating to 30 as of press time on Thursday.

    Net foreign inflows worth 725 million baht in the domestic stock market for the month to date are one of the main factors contributing to the baht's strengthening value.

    The baht has an appreciation outlook because the country has recorded continuous current account surpluses since 1997, said Nipit Wongpunya, an associate dean at Chulalongkorn University's economics faculty.

    Despite the pandemic slowing the economy, Thailand's trade balance is still in surplus because of low manufacturing output domestically, said Mr Nipit.

    "Imports of machineries and raw materials have plummeted significantly, declining more than Thai exports have slowed down," he said.

    The constant current account surpluses also reflect a low investment ratio in the country, whereby low investment is tantamount to lower imports, said Mr Nipit.

    Foreign inflows moving into the domestic bond and stock markets have been fuelled by Thailand's current account surplus, high foreign reserves, manageable public debt and the 0.5% policy interest rate, he said. Negative inflation is another factor contributing to the baht appreciation.

    Thailand's headline inflation contracted by 0.27% in December compared with a 1.2% expansion of the US consumer price index in the same month. This reflects Thai products are cheaper than US counterparts, subsequently enticing more demand for local products, said Mr Nipit.

    The baht will encounter some challenges going forward, according to the latest edited minutes of the Bank of Thailand's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

    The MPC has assessed that a risk-on sentiment will continue to prevail in the global financial markets in the short term and the US dollar is expected to depreciate subsequently.

    These developments will subsequently lead to a rapid appreciation of the baht, which could affect the fragile economic recovery. The MPC believes a new foreign exchange system should be expedited to address structural problems in the foreign exchange market and encourage more balanced capital flows.

    Wasin Rojayaroon, assistant director of the economic and policy department at the Bank of Thailand, said this year's foreign exchange outlook will be marred by high volatility on the back of the pandemic and excess liquidity coming from a dovish monetary policy adopted by global central banks.

    Malleability is another key theme. Based on the central bank study, the baht's value is influenced by movement of foreign currencies at 85%, with the remaining 15% attributed to other factors, said Mr Wasin.:

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  • S Landreth
    The week ending December 30th, 2020 the Thai Baht was being exchanged at 29.62 baht to every 1 US dollar.

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  • S Landreth
    The week ending December 25th, 2020 the Thai Baht was being exchanged at 29.62 baht to every 1 US dollar.

    Bank of Thailand holds key rate, cuts 2021 growth forecast

    The Bank of Thailand (BoT) kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a fifth straight meeting to preserve its limited policy space, while reiterating concerns about a currency rally and lowering its economic growth forecast for next year.

    The central bank held the policy rate Wednesday at 0.5% in a unanimous decision, after cutting by a total of 75 basis points earlier this year. Sixteen of 17 economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted the hold, with one expecting a 25-basis point cut.

    With a debt holiday over and asset quality concerns, the BoT might cut the rate in the next quarter, said Kobsidthi Silpachai, head of capital markets research at Kasikornbank.

    "While there is light at the end of the tunnel, we remain inside the tunnel," he said.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated two of Thailand’s main growth drivers, tourism and trade. The government has responded with a series of stimulus measures, recently approving an additional $1.4 billion expenditure for the first quarter of 2021. A fresh virus outbreak over the weekend has added a new risk to the fragile recovery.

    Strength in the baht has emerged as a key concern as the government seeks to support exports. The baht has rallied more than 9% from this year’s low in April.

    Seeking to stem baht gains, the central bank has issued a variety of measures to boost capital outflows, and its dollar purchases pushed foreign reserves to a record $255.8 billion in the week ended Dec 11. Thailand recently was added to a US Treasury Department monitoring list over its foreign-exchange intervention.

    The central bank on Wednesday revised up its growth forecast for 2020, predicting a 6.6% contraction compared with a previous projection of a 7.8% decline. It cut next year’s forecast to 3.2% growth, from 3.6% previously, due to sluggish tourism.

    It now expects 5.5 million foreign tourists next year, rather than the 9 million projected previously. That compares with nearly 40 million visitors in 2019.:

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  • S Landreth
    The week ending December 18th, 2020 the Thai Baht was being exchanged at 29.34 baht to every 1 US dollar.

    Thai baht hits 7-yr peak as investors see central bank resistance slipping

    The Thai baht jumped to a more than seven-year high and breached a major resistance level on Thursday, as investors bet the country's inclusion on a U.S. currency watch list might weaken the central bank's determination to slow the currency's gains.

    The baht firmed 0.6% to 29.83 per U.S. dollar. Thai exporters last week had called on the central bank to ensure the baht did not appreciate beyond the 30 per dollar mark, which is critical to keep them globally competitive.

    The Bank of Thailand said it did not see a big impact on foreign trade and investment after the country was added to a U.S. currency monitoring list along with Taiwan and India.

    It added it had conducted two-way intervention only to ride out currency volatility and had no intention of using the exchange rate to gain an unfair trade advantage.

    "I think in the near-term the central bank might refrain from heavily supporting the baht due to the report... by letting the baht dip below the 30 per dollar level today, it is a signal that the central bank will let it move more freely in line with its Asian peers," said Poon Panichpibool, a market strategist at Krung Thai Bank said.

    "The baht is going to be much stronger from now... I don't think BOT will try to change that direction, but they will try to slow down the appreciation, such that exporters can hedge their FX risk.":

    Originally posted by Talley Ho Ho Ho View Post
    I am thinking more like 40 baht to the dollar.

    Leave a comment:

  • S Landreth
    The week ending December 9th, 2020 the Thai Baht was being exchanged at 29.58 baht to every 1 US dollar.

    • Shhh…….you don’t want this poster managing your money.

    Originally posted by Talley Ho Ho Ho View Post
    I am thinking more like 40 baht to the dollar.

    Baht set to rise until end of 2021

    The baht's appreciation is poised to continue until year-end 2021 as a result of the weaker US dollar and Thailand's current account surplus, with an export recovery potentially tempered by the strong local currency, says a research house.

    The baht's value against the greenback is forecast in a range of 29.50-30.50 at the end of next year, according to the Economic Intelligence Center (EIC), a research house under Siam Commercial Bank.

    External factors contributing to the firmer baht include the weaker dollar, a larger US budget deficit, less volatility in global trade tensions and progress in Covid-19 vaccines, causing capital inflows to emerging market economies, said Yunyong Thaicharoen, first executive vice-president of EIC.

    Additional factors strengthening the baht are Thailand's current account surplus and the country's robust external stability, together with a home bias investment behaviour by Thai investors, said Mr Yunyong.

    "If the baht's value strengthens by around 3-5% per year, this is an acceptable level and allows local exporters to manage with the foreign exchange rate," he said.

    "If the baht's appreciation exceeds 5% per year, this would affect overall exports."

    The baht's strengthening value has caused jitters among policymakers and exporters as concerns abound about how the local currency's appreciation could offset the economic recovery, with exports bearing the brunt.

    The baht appreciated to 29.98 in early trade on Wednesday, slipping below the 30-per-dollar mark, but retreated in afternoon trade to stand marginally weaker at 30.06.

    Traders at two local banks said the central bank had stepped in to sell dollars to stem the local currency's strength, Reuters reported.

    Since January 2014, the baht has appreciated by 20.6% based on the nominal effective exchange rate, an unadjusted weighted average rate at which one country's currency exchanges for a basket of multiple foreign currencies, and strengthened by 9.8% against the dollar, according to the EIC.

    The Bank of Thailand recently unveiled three measures as part of efforts to curb the rapid appreciation of the baht and forge a new foreign exchange ecosystem.

    These comprise allowing local residents to deposit funds in foreign currency deposit accounts in Thailand, relaxing regulations regarding investments in foreign securities and requiring investors to complete a registration process prior to investing in Thai debt securities, known as bond pre-trade registration.

    The central bank has several instruments in the pipeline for managing the baht's value, with foreign exchange intervention as one of the key methods for currency management, said Mr Yunyong.:
    • Today, a look back at one former poster who doesn’t know what it’s talking about. It’s been a year and a half since the post was made below.

    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    Originally posted by Butterfly View Post
    what a sad farce
    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post

    I will agree with you if and when he doesn't get the baht back to 33/34 against the USD.

    Hearing he's got 3 months to achieve that or his coalition is gone.
    The Thai PM and his coalition are still in power.

    33/34 baht to the US dollar in three months

    Leave a comment:

  • S Landreth
    BAY foresees baht hike

    The baht's value is anticipated to surge past the 30-per-dollar mark next year driven by Thailand's huge current account surplus and the US's ultra-loose monetary policy, says Bank of Ayudhya (BAY).

    The local currency's value is forecast to hover between 29.50-30.50 baht per US dollar, with an appreciation bias expected throughout every quarter of 2021, said Tak Bunnag, head of global markets group at BAY.

    The baht is expected to appreciate to 30 baht per dollar in the first quarter before strengthening to 29.75 in the second quarter, according to BAY. The local currency's value is forecast to strengthen further to 29.50 and 29.25 baht against the greenback in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.

    "The baht's value tends to get stronger, but it would not appreciate past 29 baht per dollar and we are not expected to see an appreciation of 7-8% as witnessed in 2019," said Mr Tak.

    Despite substantial outflows of net foreign funds seen in Thailand's capital market earlier this year on the back of panic-selling sparked by the Covid-19 outbreak, offshore funds were detected as net inflows in November in local equities and bonds attributed to a risk-on sentiment encouraged by the US presidential election outcome and Covid-19 vaccine progress.

    The firmer baht, which reached a 10-month high against the dollar last month, has stoked concerns about the effect on Thailand's economic recovery, particularly the export sector.

    The Bank of Thailand recently liberalised foreign currency deposits, increased the investment limit in foreign securities for Thai individual investors and established a bond pre-registration system as part of efforts to curb the rapid appreciation of the baht and forge a new foreign exchange ecosystem.

    Additional measures by the central bank to rein in the baht's strength will be unveiled on Dec 9.

    The current account surplus will remain as a factor contributing to the baht's appreciation, said Mr Tak, noting that the total surplus in Thailand's current account remains larger than total net foreign capital inflows.

    Current account surpluses mean a country has more exports than imports of goods and services.

    Huge inflows of foreign tourist receipts over previous years also contributed to a huge current account surplus.

    Thailand registered a current account surplus of US$17.6 billion on a year-to-date basis as of Oct 30.

    In 2019, the current account surplus stood at a massive $38.2 billion.

    Thailand's current account surpluses are forecast at $20 billion and $19.8 billion in 2020 and 2021, respectively, according to BAY.

    Mr Tak said the US's fiscal and monetary policies, particularly keeping interest rates low and targeting twin deficits, meaning fiscal and current account deficits, to stimulate the US economy, will also cause the dollar to depreciate further, with the baht moving in the opposite direction.

    The baht's strength is not expected to surge past 30 baht versus the dollar this year, attributed to the central bank's measures to stem foreign capital inflows, he said.:

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  • Talley Ho Ho Ho
    I am thinking more like 40 baht to the dollar. Have you been to Patters lately? its a bloody ghost town!

    Leave a comment:

  • S Landreth
    The week ending December 4th, 2020 the Thai Baht was being exchanged at 29.69 baht to every 1 US dollar.

    • Bank of Thailand to unveil measures to contain baht

    The Bank of Thailand (BoT) will hold a briefing on Dec 9 to unveil additional measures to contain the baht, an official said on Monday, blaming both short- and long-term factors for the currency's strength.

    The measures to be implemented in the first quarter of next year will be aimed at adjusting the baht and the financial market environment, said Chayawadee Chai-Anant, a senior director at the BoT.

    The baht had been "quite volatile" after factors such as progress developing a Covid-19 vaccine attracted fund inflows, she said, adding the central bank was "monitoring it 24 hours" a day.

    "Short term inflows have increased, but they can't be classified as hot money or short-term investment for liquidity management," Ms Chayawadee said.

    The baht traded at 30.27 per US dollar on Monday, after hitting its highest level in more than 10 months of 30.13 on Nov 16.

    Earlier this month, the BoT announced a series of steps to deal with the rise of the baht, which the central bank said had undermined the country's economic recovery.

    Southeast Asia's second-largest economy still had momentum in the fourth quarter, supported by government stimulus measures, Ms Chayawadee said.

    But the pace of recovery might not be as strong as in the third quarter, when economic activity resumed after the easing of coronavirus restrictions, she said.

    The economy contracted a less than expected 6.4% in July-September from a year earlier after the June quarter's 12.1% slump.

    In October, the economy contracted at a faster rate compared with the previous month due to fading temporary factors, such as special long holidays, and coming off last year's high base, the BoT said in a statement.:

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  • S Landreth
    The week ending November 27th, 2020 the Thai Baht was being exchanged at 29.82 baht to every 1 US dollar.

    Shippers seek baht management

    The Thai National Shippers' Council (TNSC) is urging financial authorities to manage the local currency's value to hover around 31 baht against the US dollar for trade competitiveness.

    The baht has appreciated to 30.3 against the greenback and there is a tendency that the local currency's value could further strengthen to 29.5 next year, said Ghanyapad Tantipipatpong, TNSC's chairwoman, citing analysts' views.

    If this holds true, the firmer baht would incur foreign exchange risks in terms of the cost and selling price of goods, said Ms Ghanyapad.

    It was reported that Ms Ghanyapad also had a meeting with Bank of Thailand governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput to ask the central bank to manage the movement of the local currency.

    Previously, the TNSC assessed that the value of the baht should be 34 per dollar, a level seen appropriate for trade competitiveness.

    However, the council can now tolerate a foreign exchange value of 31 baht against the US currency.

    The baht's value has appreciated at a rapid pace compared with other currencies, she said.

    The rapid appreciation followed investors' risk-on sentiment on the back of the US presidential election outcome and progress in Covid-19 vaccine development.

    The baht has been the second-best performer in Asia this month after foreign investors turned net buyers of almost US$2.4 billion (72.8 billion baht) of bonds and stocks as appetite returns for riskier emerging-market assets amid a weak dollar, Bloomberg reported.

    Vachira Arromdee, assistant governor for financial markets operations group at the Bank of Thailand, recently said the rapid appreciation of the baht may affect the fragile recovery of the Thai economy, and the central bank had been closely monitoring and intervening in the market as necessary to limit excessive currency volatility.

    The central bank has liberalised foreign currency deposits and increased the investment limit in foreign securities for Thai individual investors, an attempt to curb the baht's strengthening value and forge a new foreign exchange dynamic.

    But the move has produced a minor effect as the baht's value has slightly depreciated, with a limited movement seen, said Ms Ghanyapad.

    Ms Ghanyapad on Tuesday had also a meeting with Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith to discuss policies to stem the baht's strengthening value and measures to shore up consumer purchasing power.

    She urged Mr Arkhom to expedite the linkage of electronic licence information, or the "National Single Window" project, to enhance the transfer of information between the public and private sectors.:

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  • S Landreth
    The week ending November 20th, 2020 the Thai Baht was being exchanged at 29.82 baht to every 1 US dollar.

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  • S Landreth
    BOT’s move to rein in rising baht not working: experts

    Analysts are sceptical about the central bank’s latest measures to curb the rising baht, despite praise for the move from business quarters.

    The Bank of Thailand (BOT) on Friday announced measures to encourage capital outflow in order to restrain rapid appreciation of the baht.

    However, foreign funds continued to flow into the Thai stock exchange on Friday, with foreign investors making net buys of Bt2.38 billion.

    “It seems that the market is not reacting, the measures seem to be more of the same old thing,” Kobsidthi Silpachai, head of capital markets research at Kasikornbank, told The Nation.

    Though the central bank was encouraging capital outflows, it had not imposed “scary” measures like Tobin tax [on currency conversions], he said.

    Thus he was pessimistic the measures would slow down the baht’s rise.

    “The fundamentals have not changed: our current account will remain in surplus,” he said.

    While the new measures may address the “symptoms”, they would not cure the underlying cause of the strong baht – an imbalanced economy, he argued.

    After years of relying on monetary measures, it was time to try fiscal measures like tax reform, he added.

    He was also sceptical of the BOT’s recent move to loosen restrictions on foreign currency deposit accounts. Focusing on foreign capital flows might not be effective, as exporters need to convert their US dollar revenue to baht for working capital, he said.

    The measure risked upsetting long-term inflation management by spurring outflow of capital and indirectly discouraging investment in Thailand, which would dampen future economic activity and inflation, he warned.

    He suggested that if authorities really want the baht to weaken, they need to rebalance the economy. This is where tax reforms comes in, because high taxes, high household debt and a strong baht are all related.

    “Excise tax on imported goods is high, suppressing imports and forcing the current account surplus even higher, which leads to a strong baht,” he said.

    US President Donald Trump has proven that cutting taxes actually boosts tax revenue, because the tax base increases, Kobsidthi added.

    Naris Sathapholdecha, executive director at TMB Analytics, shares a similar view, saying that foreign investors were undeterred by the latest measures as they still bought short-term bonds worth US$700 million in Friday’s intra-day trading.

    He suggested that to rein in the baht, the central bank should reduce its issuance of short-term bonds. The BOT could also raise costs for foreign investors investing in Thai stocks and bonds by stipulating they must buy insurance against baht exchange rate risk.

    He predicted a slight short-term weakening of the baht due to two factors outside Thailand. First, while the more trade-friendly Joe Biden had wo the US presidential election, his Democrat Party had not won a majority in the Senate. Second, a Covid-19 vaccine may not be available as soon as expected. Therefore, investors may sell Thai assets.

    The baht would stay at around Bt30.50 per dollar and is unlikely to strengthen beyond Bt30, Naris added.

    Meanwhile, Kriengkrai Thiennukul, vice chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, expressed support for the BOT’s moves.

    “The action of the central bank will prevent a rapid rise beyond the Bt30/dollar level. Doing nothing would have seen the baht appreciate further, making Thai exports even less competitive,” he said.

    The baht’s rise would also benefit Thai investors seeking to acquire businesses in Europe, where many companies are expected to go bankrupt amid the second wave of Covid-19. But foreign businesses could yield high returns when the pandemic eases.

    He also predicted the baht would remain strong for the foreseeable future since the Biden presidency will inject more money into US economy.:

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  • S Landreth
    BOT unveils new liberalisation measures in bid to control baht's appreciation

    The Bank of Thailand (BOT) on Friday liberalised Thai investments in foreign securities and the holding of foreign currencies in a bid to rein in the strengthening baht.

    Under the new BOT measures, Thais are allowed to freely open foreign currency deposit accounts (FCD) and can freely make transactions between FCD accounts, BOT assistant governor Vachira Arromdee said on Friday.

    The measures will enable exporters to effectively manage liquidity and foreign exchange risk.

    Vachira said that the US presidential election outcome and the progress of the Covid-19 vaccine development have strengthened confidence in the global economy. This has resulted in "renewed inflows into emerging market economies, including Thailand".

    "The rapid appreciation of the baht may affect the fragile recovery of the Thai economy," Vachira said.

    The BOT has closely monitored and intervened in the market as necessary to limit excessive currency volatility. In addition, to further mitigate pressures on the currency and to address structural issues in the Thai foreign exchange market, the BOT has come up with additional measures, Vachira said.

    Residents are allowed to conduct FCD transactions electronically, which reduces transaction costs. FCD accounts may also be used for residents to diversify investment into assets denominated in foreign currencies, such as foreign equities and gold denominated in US dollar, the central bank said.

    The BOT has relaxed regulations regarding investment in foreign securities. These include increasing investment limits and expanding eligible financial products, in order to expand investment options for residents and enhance portfolio diversification.

    The investment limit for retail investors has been increased from $200,000 per year to $5 million per year. Also, there is no investment limit in foreign securities through local financial institutions such as brokerage firms and asset management companies.

    There is also no investment limit in foreign assets for investors regulated under the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).

    Foreign securities such as Exchanged Traded Funds that track foreign securities can now be listed in Thailand.

    Investors in Thai bonds will be subject to "Bond pre-date registration". Pre-registration will upgrade the bond surveillance system, which will allow close monitoring of investor behaviour and thereby enable the implementation of targeted measures in a timely manner, the BOT said. This registration is in line with practices in South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan, the central bank added.

    The latest measures are a part of the comprehensive FX Ecosystem Development Plan that the Ministry of Finance, the SEC and the BOT are together advancing in order to address structural problems in the foreign exchange market in a sustainable manner, the central bank said.:

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  • S Landreth
    Bank of Thailand holds rates, mulls moves to curb baht

    The Bank of Thailand (BoT) signalled it will focus on tackling a rally in the nation’s currency, while keeping its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a fourth straight meeting to save limited policy space.

    The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) “expressed concerns over the rapid appreciation of the baht as this affected the fragile economic recovery,” it said after its meeting Wednesday, adding that it will hold a briefing Friday on measures to address the issue. The currency dropped as much as 0.6% against the dollar after the statement.

    The MPC will also “closely monitor developments in foreign exchange markets and capital flows as well as consider the necessity of implementing additional appropriate measures,” it said.

    The Thai economy has shown some encouraging signs as the decline in gross domestic product slowed last quarter, beating estimates. Still, ongoing political protests and a stronger currency are weighing on the economy, adding to the case for the central bank to keep some policy space available to use when needed.

    The central bank held its key rate at 0.5% in a unanimous decision, saying it’s prepared to use additional monetary tools if necessary. All 20 economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted the hold, which came after the bank cut rates by 75 basis points earlier this year.

    The committee “assessed that despite the recent better-than-expected outturn, the Thai economy would recover slowly and need support from the continued low policy rate,” it said. “The committee thus voted to maintain the policy rate at this meeting and to preserve the limited policy space in order to act at the appropriate and most effective timing.”

    The baht trimmed its gain against the US dollar over the past month to 2.9% after the announcement. Bank of Thailand Assistant Governor Titanun Mallikamas on Wednesday attributed the recent strength to risk-on flows into emerging markets.

    The government has wanted the central bank to temper the baht’s recent rally as it threatens exports. Finance Minister Arkhom Termipittayapaisith said Monday he’d discuss with the central bank possible measures to restrain the currency.

    Key Issues

    Briefing reporters after the decision, Mr Titanun said Wednesday’s meeting focused on three key issues.

    The first was concern about the baht’s rapid appreciation and the necessity of additional measures, as well as scheduling a briefing on foreign exchange Friday.

    Secondly, he said, liquidity is not evenly distributed in the financial system because of elevated credit risks, despite record-low interest rates.

    Finally, household income remains fragile, especially for service-sector workers even as the labour market improved in the third quarter.

    “The briefing this Friday on how to tame the baht strength is new and unheard of,” said Howie Lee, economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd in Singapore. “Baht traders may be expecting reasonably strong measures out of Friday and the baht is reacting ahead of that meeting”

    The central bank said fiscal policy remains key to reviving the economy, a point it has been at pains to stress in recent weeks. Well-targeted policies and coordination across government agencies will be key to the boosting the recovery, the bank said.

    The government should “accelerate budget disbursement and assist the vulnerable target groups,” the bank said in its decision statement. “In addition, implementation of supply-side policies should be accelerated to support business restructuring and upskilling of labour, which would help support sustainable economic recovery in the long term.”

    The MPC meeting on Wednesday was the first for governor Setthaput Suthiwart-Narueput after he succeeded Veerathai Santiprabhob on Oct 1.:

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  • S Landreth
    The week ending November 13th, 2020 the Thai Baht was being exchanged at 29.73 baht to every 1 US dollar.

    • Govt asks central bank to manage soaring baht to aid exports

    The government wants the Bank of Thailand (BoT) to temper a rally in the nation’s currency, which is threatening efforts to boost exports to balance a slump in tourism revenue, according to Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.

    The BoT is “taking care” of the baht, Mr Arkhom told reporters in Bangkok on Wednesday, after the currency rallied to a 10-month high against the US dollar. The baht has surged 4.7% this quarter as foreign inflows into the nation’s stocks and bonds resumed and emerging market currencies rallied on optimism over the global economic outlook.

    With the international borders closed to most visitors, Thailand is betting on a revival in trade to minimise the hit to the economy from the coronavirus pandemic. As exports have shown signs of revival, the government will focus on supporting its only source of external revenue, Mr Arkhom said.

    “We are doing whatever we can to help exports,” said Mr Arkhom, who took over as the finance minister last month. “We have asked the central bank to manage the baht to be supportive for exports.”

    The baht rose as much as 0.9% to 30.172 to a dollar on Wednesday, its highest intraday level since Jan 14, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency has rebounded almost 9% from this year’s low in April and is close to wiping out its entire losses for the year.

    “The central bank is likely to lean against currency strength, but as the baht’s recent rally has broadly been in line with the rest of the region’s currencies, any moves to rein in gains are likely to be fairly measured,” Krystal Tan, an economist for Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, said in an email. The bank sees the baht at 30.90 to a dollar by year-end, she said.

    Mr Arkhom said monetary and fiscal policies should be in sync to support the economy, which is expected to perform better than previously forecast this year on a pick-up in domestic consumption.

    The government will extend beyond 2020 a co-payment programme meant to drive consumption, and will accelerate budget spending until the first quarter of next year, especially for infrastructure to sustain local demand, he said.:

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  • S Landreth
    The week ending November 6th, 2020 the Thai Baht was being exchanged at 30.15 baht to every 1 US dollar.

    Foreign investment pledges fall 29% y/y Jan-Sept

    Foreign investment applications in Thailand amounted to 118.5 billion baht in January-September, down 29% from a year earlier, as investors were deterred by the coronavirus pandemic, an investment agency said on Wednesday.

    Foreign investors remain interested in the country, despite months of political protests, Duangjai Asawachintachit, secretary general of the Board of Investment (BoI), told a briefing.

    "Investors who plan to invest in Thailand will consider long-term factors more than short-term factors. Thailand is still attractive for them," Mr Duangjai said.

    Japan remains Thailand's biggest investor, with projects worth 37.5 billion baht, followed by China's 21.2 billion baht of pledges.

    Thailand has seen some of the biggest political protests in years in recent months, calling for the removal of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, changes to the constitution and reforms to curb the powers of the monarchy.

    In the first nine months of this year, combined domestic and foreign investment pledges declined 15% from a year earlier to 223.7 billion baht, due to a smaller average size of projects.

    That came amid a decline in investment globally due to the coronavirus pandemic, the BoI said.

    It aims to attract 300 billion baht of overall investment this year, a 60% decline from 2019.

    It hopes new incentives will spur more investment, however, such as resuming accepting applications for investments in the electric vehicles sector, which was stopped in 2018, Mr Duangjai said.:

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