Thailand’s yen debt to be totally repaid to Japan

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BANGKOK, Apr 15 – Thailand’s Finance Ministry is cashing in on the strengthening Thai currency to pay the nation’s public debts at Y60 billion (Bt20 billion or US$690 million) to Japan, a senior Thai official said today.

Chularat Suthithorn, director general of the Public Debt Management Office (PDMO), said the ministry acts guarantor for the loans granted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to state enterprises in Thailand.

JICA has agreed to an earlier repayment without surcharge, she said, adding that the loans will be totally paid within this fiscal year, ending Sept 30.

Thailand’s foreign loans having an impact on the baht are mainly in Japanese yen, she said.

Ms Churarat added that the government will resort to cross currency swap in repayment of loans in other currencies to avoid a risk on currency exchange.

She said the PDMO has worked on a debt payment plan for the next budget year to help soften the strength of Thai baht, but at a minimal degree. Thailand’s public debt is Bt5 trillion.