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Bank of Thailand Holds Key rate and raises 2017 GDP forecast

Thailand’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1. 5 percent where it’s been since 2015, according to a Bank of Thailand statement

Boris Sullivan

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The Monetary Policy Committee resolved unanimously to retain policy interest rate at 1. 5 percent where it’s been since 2015, according to a Bank of Thailand statement on its website on Wednesday

Mr Chaturong Chantharang, assistant governor of the Bank of Thailand for monetary police, said that the MPC wanted to continue using lenient monetary policy to boost sustained economic expansion and to keep inflation rate within target.

The Thai government is hoping for a pick up in investment and consumer spending to broaden the expansion in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, which remains export-reliant.

According to economic assessments this year and next year, the economy tends to expand at higher rate than previously projected – 3.9 percent instead of 3.8 percent.

The Thai economy as a whole was projected to achieve higher growth than previously assessed on account of continued improvements in merchandise exports and tourism that were driven by a stronger global economic recovery

Forecast Summary as of December 2017

The Thai economy was projected to achieve faster growth than previously assessed driven by continued improvements in exports of goods and services, the gradual recovery in private consumption and investment, and continued growth in public
expenditure.

• Inflation forecasts remained close to the previous assessment with inflation still projected to slowly rise.
• The growth outlook was still subject to risks that warranted close monitoring, namely uncertainties pertaining to US economic and foreign trade policies as well as geopolitical risks.

Banking

Singapore’s PayNow and Thailand’s PromptPay Launch Cross-border Payment System

Olivier Languepin and Abhishek Prakash

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In a global first, Singapore and Thailand have linked their real-time payment systems, PayNow and PromptPay allowing international fund transfers between the two countries within minutes.

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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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