Bank of Thailand seen cutting rates twice this year

Bank of Thailand seen cutting rates twice this year

Thailand's Bond Market Association (ThaiBMA) on Thursday said it expects the Bank of Thailand (BoT) to cut rates twice this year starting from June and totalling 50 basis points.

"Data shows a weak economy and low inflation therefore the view is that interest rates will come down earlier," ThaiBMA President Somjin Sornpaisarn told a press conference, citing its survey of bond traders and fund managers.

The BoT has so far resisted government pressure to ease policy, holding the key interest rate at 2.50% in February, the highest in more than a decade, in a split vote. Its next rate review is on April 10.

The bond association maintained its outlook expecting 900 billion baht to 1 trillion baht (US$24.54 billion to $27.27 billion) in corporate bond issuance this year.

Southeast Asia's second-largest economy unexpectedly shrank 0.6% in the final quarter of 2023 from the third, with full-year growth at 1.9%, lower than the 2.5% growth in 2022.

Last month, the central bank lowered its 2024 growth outlook to 2.5% to 3.0% from 3.2%.

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