PM orders close watch on fast strengthening baht

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BANGKOK, April 11 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has instructed the Bank of Thailand (BoT) and Finance Ministry to closely monitor the surging baht and find measures to help smaller enterprises.

BoT Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said Wednesday that the premier has asked whether any special measures would be necessary to ease the situation and assist small- and medium-sized manufacturers who have been hardest hit by the strong baht.

The Thai currency appreciated to Bt28.91/95 against the dollar on Tuesday, the strongest since 1997.

He said the central bank has closely monitored the currency movement and asked the Thailand Securities Depository to check the activities and names of foreign investors in the stock market before deciding if additional measures are necessary.

Mr Prasarn said the surging baht has been advantageous to importers but has negatively affected exporters, particularly small- and medium-sized businesses.

Commercial banks have been requested to help smaller businesses, he said.

He insisted that it is unnecessary to reduce the policy interest rate as the monetary situation remains under control