Bank of Thailand to unveil measures to contain baht

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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