GSB wins bid for Bt50 billion loan to pay rice farmers

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BANGKOK, June 3 —  The Government Savings Bank (GSB) won the bid to lend Bt50 billion to the government’s rice-pledging scheme with its historically low interest rate of 2.17 per cent.

Chularat Suteethorn, director-general of the Public Debt Management Office (PDMO), said the bidding contest attracted 12 contenders that offered combined credits worth Bt145 billion.

The bank won the contest as it offered to grant a loan for the whole sum of Bt50 billion with the recorded low interest rate of 2.179 per cent, even lower than the interest of Thai government bonds at 2.45 per cent.

The GSB will transfer the first lot of Bt30 billion to the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) on June 6 and the second batch of Bt20 billion is scheduled on June 12.

The bank stated that it set the low interest to help rice growers.

The BAAC would use the money for farmers’ payment.

Ms Chularat said the PDMO would invite financial institutions to another bidding next Thursday to raise Bt40 billion to repay the BAAC that had advanced its sum to pay for pledged rice of farmers.

She expects financial institutions to lend more to the Ministry of Finance for the purpose because early repayment was possible when the government raised proceeds from its rice sales.