Burma’s currency is continuing its downslide and has dropped almost 18 percent in value since the government floated the kyat in early April last year.
Currency speculation and falling global gold prices are contributing to the slump of the kyat, local bankers and traders said.
On Friday, the Central Bank’s official exchange rate stood at 969 kyat per US dollar, while some of Rangoon’s money changers reported that the currency had already fallen to more than 1,000 kyat per dollar.
The currency has dropped 17.8 percent compared to 818 kyat per dollar on April 2, 2012, when President Thein Sein’s reformist government floated the currency.
Since its float, the kyat experienced a gradual decline to 890 kyat per dollar until May 8, 2013, when it suddenly fell to 946 kyat per dollar in just one day.
Before April 2012, Burma’s military government set the official exchange rate at 6.4 kyat per dollar, even though the black market rate stood at around 820 kyat per dollar.
Rangoon money changers said the currency was also subject to strong daily fluctuations.
“This morning when I just started exchanging, a US dollar cost 998 kyat only. Now, in the evening, the price for a dollar has gone up to 1005 kyat. The price of a US dollar jumped like this, just today,” an informal money changer said on Wednesday.
Thai baht becoming the region’s worst-hit currency in COVID pandemic
According to data from its tourism ministry as well as the World Bank, Thailand had only a little over 34,000 tourist arrivals as of May 2021, compared with over 39 million in 2019, before the pandemic. Fewer tourists also means lower demand for the Thai baht.
3 Reasons to Be Optimistic About the Baht Right Now
Probably one of the most important factors for the rise of the Baht is the continued weakness of the US dollar, which most experts agree is going to continue declining throughout the rest of the year.
The Thai Baht, our beleaguered currency, has had something of a difficult few years. Successful debt and inflation crises have eroded the value of the Baht numerous times, not least the events of 2015-16, which saw the Baht plunge to some of the lowest levels against the Dollar in history.(more…)
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