Bank of Thailand plots new support measures amid virus surge

Bank of Thailand plots new support measures amid virus surge

The Bank of Thailand said on Monday the current Covid-19 outbreak was highly uncertain and it was ready to introduce necessary assistance measures in addition to recent support schemes.

The tourism-reliant nation is grappling with a third coronavirus wave that includes a highly contagious variant, which have caused over 14,700 infections in less than three weeks, dealing a blow to its already slow economic recovery.

The Bank of Thailand is closely monitoring the situation and discussing with relevant agencies help for retail debtors through support measures and debt mediation, Deputy Governor Ronadol Numnonda said in a statement.

Last month, the government approved financial measures worth 350 billion baht to help business cope with the outbreak impact.

Monetary policy will ensure that financial conditions are no obstacles to the economic recovery, BoT Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput was quoted by local newspaper Prachachat as saying.

Overall liquidity remains sufficient but there is a problem with liquidity distribution to needed areas, he said.

The BoT has kept its policy rate at a record low of 0.50% since mid-2020 and will next review policy on May 5.

Earlier this month, the central bank said Southeast Asia's second-largest economy could grow less than its forecast of 3.0% this year after the new outbreak.

The new outbreak, which accounts for a third of Thailand's cases so far, comes as the country takes tentative steps to reopen to foreign visitors after a year of tightened border controls.

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