Central Bank: Thai baht situation improves

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BANGKOK, March 28 – The Thai currency has slightly weakened due to the outflow of US dollars and Thai investors’ purchases of the US currency in higher volumes, a senior central bank official said today.

Pongpen Ruangvirayuth, Bank of Thailand (BoT) deputy governor, said foreign investors have recently sold their stocks and exchanged the funds into US currency to be transferred out of Thailand, while Thai investors bought more US dollars either for speculative purposes or overseas direct investment.

Though the Thai currency has strengthened by 4.5 per cent since early this year, its appreciation in the last few years has been lower than other currencies in the region, she said.

Ms Pongpen said foreign capital inflow will continue on a regular basis and the Thai baht will remain attractive among foreign investors.

“A balanced capital inflow and outflow gives us a relief. The slight depreciation of the baht is not unpredictable. There always are investors who make speculative investments when the baht weakens,” she said.

Ms Pongpen said the BoT has taken into consideration a proposed registration of capital inflow in the bond markets but the right and appropriate timing is crucial in executing the measure to avoid a negative impact.

Thailand needs foreign capital and investment in both the public and private sectors, she pointed out.