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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Actions to Weaken Baht Possible

    Thailand Likely to Act Again on Baht, Finance Minister Says

    By Suttinee Yuvejwattana and Haslinda Amin
    December 1, 2020, 5:00 AM GMT+7


    • Recent rules only ‘first step,’ but capital controls unlikely
    • Surging currency emerging as a threat to key exports sector


    Recent measures from the Bank of Thailand that aim to restrain the surging baht will likely be followed by “further strict” steps, but policy makers are unlikely to impose outright capital controls, Thai Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said.

    “I think that’s only the first step,” Arkhom told told Bloomberg Television, referring to the Bank of Thailand’s Nov. 20 move to ease rules on capital outflows. “I’m sure the central bank will do more measures on that.”



    Arkhom Termipittayapaisith
    Photographer: Nicolas Axelrod/Bloomberg

    Currency strength has re-emerged as a key issue for the Thai government after the baht reached a 10-month high against the U.S. dollar in November, raising concerns about the impact on exports. Thailand’s economy is expected to contract the most in more than two decades this year with tourism in limbo amid the pandemic.

    Urged by exporters and policy makers to stem the baht rally, the central bank announced plans to relax capital outflow rules and more closely scrutinize investment into bonds. So far the measures have failed to cool the currency.

    The baht is still up more than 8% from the year’s low in April, with foreign investors plowing money into Thai stocks and bonds as the weak dollar boosts appetite for riskier emerging-market assets. Net foreign fund flows into Thai stocks and government bonds stood at $2.4 billion in November, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    The economy improved in the third quarter after the government implemented a series of stimulus measures and eased restrictions on movement as it brought the country’s Covid-19 outbreak largely under control.

    Arkhom said the government aimed to keep the baht exchange rate stable so exporters can manage their revenues, but wouldn’t specify a preferred level for the currency. He also ruled out stringent limits on the amount of funds that can enter the country.
    “We wouldn’t see that,” he said of capital controls. Asked if there was any conceivable situation in which Thailand would pursue such a policy, he said, “we haven’t discussed that yet.”

    Thai policy makers last imposed limits on funds entering the country in December 2006 to slow baht gains and protect exporters, a measure that led to a divergence between the onshore traded value of the currency and the offshore value. Equity investors were soon exempted from the restrictions after the benchmark stock index slumped 15%, and the curbs were fully lifted in March 2008.

    Thailand’s foreign-exchange reserves climbed to a record $255.25 billion in the week ended Sept. 18 as the central bank bought dollars to limit appreciation in the currency. The reserves have hovered above $250 billion level this month and stood at $253.43 billion, according to the latest data on Nov. 20.
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  2. #2
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    Arkhom said the government aimed to keep the baht exchange rate stable so exporters can manage their revenues, but wouldn’t specify a preferred level for the currency
    Needs to be no less than 32 imho.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...^that's as good an estimate as any: don't want to alarm the currency manipulation authorities in Washington...

  4. #4
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    ...^that's as good an estimate as any: don't want to alarm the currency manipulation authorities in Washington...
    Far from an expert but unless restrictions are put on foriegn investment doubt there will be a significant weakening of the baht.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    Arkhom said the government aimed to keep the baht exchange rate stable so exporters can manage their revenues, but wouldn’t specify a preferred level for the currency. He also ruled out stringent limits on the amount of funds that can enter the country.
    “We wouldn’t see that,” he said of capital controls. Asked if there was any conceivable situation in which Thailand would pursue such a policy, he said, “we haven’t discussed that yet.”
    Time to start discussing and implementing restrictions.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
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    Out of topic...

    I just noticed that the Finance Minister looks a bit like Jose Mari Chan, a popular singer/ songwriter/ businessman here (Fil - Chinese). I think the minister is Thai - Chinese?

    Here's an ad that Mr. Chan did for McDonald's, together with George Yang, the head of PI McDonald's. The song they sang is a composition of Mr. Chan. He's very famous here during the - ber months (starting September) because the radios & malls start to play the Christmas song that he composed. Cheers all.


  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
    YourDaddy's Avatar
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    Snub is lovin' it

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
    aging one's Avatar
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    I feel for ya YD. Each and everyday you must live with this feeling. Pity it is a man who lives in Washington. Much more thought than your own wife wouldnt you say?

    Actions to Weaken Baht Possible-ctnpt78ueaarrha-jpg

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