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Bank cuts Thai 2020 GDP growth outlook to 2.7%

SCB’s Economic Intelligence Center (EIC) has released its latest growth forecast, at 2.7 percent, showing a slow recovery from just 2.5 percent economic growth in 2019

Boris Sullivan

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SCB cuts GDP growth forecast to 3.1%

SCB’s Economic Intelligence Center (EIC) has released its latest forecast, indicating that the Thai economy at the end of 2020 will have grown by 2.7 percent, showing a s recovery from just 2.5 percent economic growth in 2019, thanks to a better performing export sector and improved global economy.

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Earlier this week the World Bank also downgraded Thailand’s economic growth outlook for this year to 2.7% .

The EIC expects the Bank of Thailand to maintain the policy rate at 1.25 percent per annum. The center is keeping a close eye on uncertainties between the U.S. and China; the U.S. and EU; the U.S.-Iran conflict; Brexit, and the financial fragility in households and businesses.

The forecast indicates that the Thai economy will still face challenges from the strong Thai baht currently between 29.5 and 30.5 baht per U.S. dollar; the slowdown in consumption and private investment; employment issues; household debt, and the drought disaster.

In 2019, declining exports and growing weaknesses in domestic demand weighed on Thai economic growth.

The baht, which has appreciated by 8.9% since last year, has also dealt a blow to international tourism and merchandise exports, the World Bank said.

Asean

12 Things to Know about the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF)

The ACGF is an ASEAN Infrastructure Fund initiative managed by ADB’s Southeast Asia Department Innovation Hub. It helps Southeast Asian governments prepare and finance infrastructure projects promoting environmental sustainability and contributing to climate change goals.

Asian Development Bank

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Southeast Asia faces an infrastructure investment shortfall of more than $100 billion a year, which may have worsened amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Banking

Thai cabinet approves 350 billion baht Aid for COVID-hit Businesses

Thailand unveiled new measures to help small and medium COVID-hit businesses in the tourism industry hit by a liquidity crunch.

Olivier Languepin

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The Thai cabinet has approved assistance worth 350 billion baht($11 Billion) to help businesses affected by COVID-19 with soft loans and asset warehousing.

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Banking

APAC Banks to Face Portfolio Valuation Losses As Yields Rise

The latest data suggest that Fitch-rated banks in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan have the largest AFS securities portfolios, and display particular sensitivity to changes in yields.

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Fitch Ratings-Hong Kong/Singapore-21 March 2021: A rise in yields for long-dated sovereign bonds will result in near-term losses for Asia-Pacific (APAC) banks as they recognise valuation changes on their available-for-sale (AFS) bond portfolios, but the capital impact should be manageable for most rated banks, says Fitch Ratings.

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