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BOT predicts 5.3% contraction in Thai economy for 2020

The Thaiger

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BOT predicts 5.3% contraction in Thai economy for 2020 | The Thaiger
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Even the Thai economy, which was still maintaining respectable growth before January, is now spluttering under the siege of the Covid-19 virus.

Now the Bank of Thailand has crunched some numbers and believes the Thai economy will sharply contract by 5.3% this year as the virus continues to weigh on global financial markets, the local economy and people. GDP growth for 2019 stood at a low 2.4%.

The BOT Monetary Policy Committee speculates that the Thai economy will contract 5.3% for 2020 before hopefully rebounding with 3% growth next year.

Don Nakornthab, senior director at Bank of Thailand’s economic & policy department, says the Banks’s Monetary Policy Committee has voted to maintain benchmark rate at 0.75%.

“The coronavirus outbreak has been impacting Thai tourism and exports to a large extent. The number of tourist arrivals was expected to contract by 60% this year while the economies of our trading partners would slow down or enter into recession if the Covid-19 pandemic persists for a prolonged period.”

“Government stimulus packages, businesses and people’s adaptations to the situation hold the key to the direction of the local economy.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai banks cut lending rates to ease Covid-19 fallout

Anukul

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Thai banks cut lending rates to ease Covid-19 fallout | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thethaiger.com

Today the Bank of Thailand, in a joint effort with the Financial Institutions Development Fund, eased debt repayment requirements, in bid to help people affected by the Covid-19 virus who are unable to pay monthly minimums.

Kasikornbank (KBank) and Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) are also planning to reduce their prime lending rates by 40 basis points. The KBank co-president Predee Daochai says that the KBanks’ new prime lending rates which take effect tomorrow consisting of:

  • The minimum lending rate (MLR) will be reduced to 5.60% from 6%
  • The minimum overdraft rate (MOR) to 6.22% from 6.62%
  • The minimum retail rate (MRR) to 6.10% from 6.50%

“The bank’s deposits rates will remain unchanged and the rate cuts are part of KBank’s debt relief measures for customers during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Thai banks cut lending rates to ease Covid-19 fallout | News by The Thaiger

The head of SCB Bank Arthid Nanthawitthaya announced new leading rates…

  • MLR will be reduced to 5.375% from 5.775%,
  • MOR to 6.095% from 6.495%
  • MRR to 6.345% from 6.745%,

Thai banks cut lending rates to ease Covid-19 fallout | News by The Thaiger

The latest rate reduction aims to lighten the financial burden of the bank’s retail and corporate customers amid the economic downturn stemming from the coronavirus crisis.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Government doubles cash stimulus period for informal workers

Greeley Pulitzer

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Government doubles cash stimulus period for informal workers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The Thai government is doubling the period of monthly cash handouts for “informal workers,” from 3 months to 6. Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana made the announcement after yesterday’s weekly Cabinet meeting.

The government initially only planned to provide cash to 3 million people for 3 months. The new stimulus marks a huge investment by the Thai government to keep the economy chugging along whilst the impacts of shutdowns keep people indoors.

The government intends to provide 5,000 baht in cash per month to 9 million Thai people, starting today until September. The stimulus aims to offset the effects of business closures and high unemployment due to the national state of emergency declared to fight the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

More than 24 million people have so far registered for the handout via the government’s website and the Finance Ministry is in the process of screening who could be eligible. The relief measure covers people who do freelance jobs, are self-employed or are workers in the “informal sector,” such as motorbike taxi drivers (win drivers).

SOURCE: The Nation

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

1.9 trillion baht stimulus aims to relieve Covid-19 impacts on Thai business

Anukul

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1.9 trillion baht stimulus aims to relieve Covid-19 impacts on Thai business | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: posttoday.com

Today, on the weekly meeting with the Thai Cabinet, it was concluded and approved that the third phase of the economic stimulus will commence as of today. The stimulus is valued at 1.9 trillion baht and is aimed to relieve some of the impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha revealed that the third phase of economic stimulus measures consists of three emergency decrees…

  • The first decree will transfer 80 billion baht to 100 billion baht to the central budget to use as stimulus funds.
  • The second will permit the Bank of Thailand to use up 900 billion baht for moves to boost the economy.
  • The third decree allows the Finance Ministry to borrow up to 1 trillion baht, of which 600 billion baht will be used for cash handouts and public health and 400 billion baht will be spent on economic recovery measures (in addition, there will be another 80 billion baht to 100 billion baht available after rearranging the budgets of government authorities).

Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand will allocate 500 billion baht in soft loans at 2% interest rates to aid the economy, especially to small and medium enterprises, with credit lines of up to 500 million baht. In addition, the BOT will instruct commercial banks and government financial institutions to allow SMEs with loans not exceeding 100 million baht to postpone principal debt and interest payment for 6 months.

Government spokesperson Narumon Pinyosinwat says “the Cabinet has also approved the Finance Ministry’s draft regulations to disregard import duty for materials that can be used to cure, diagnose or prevent the Covid-19 virus.”

The waiver has been in effect since March 26 and will be valid until September 30.

SOURCE: The Nation / The Nation

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