The baht is expected to strengthen further and stay at 30.50 to the US dollar by the end of this year due to the continued capital inflow into Thailand and the current account surplus, according to a top banker.
Boontuck Wungcharoen, chief executive officer of TMB Bank Plc, said the baht had appreciated in close relation to other currencies in the region except the Chinese yuan and the Indian rupee.The recent baht surge had begun to impact Thailand’s export sector. What the private sector should do now is to adjust to the sharp appreciation of the currency. More bank clients must familiarise themselves with currency risk management.
Mr Boontuck said the Bank of Thailand still must raise the policy interest rate to contain the mounting inflationary pressure next year. He predicted the policy rate would stay at 2-2.25 per cent at the end of this year and increase further to 3.50 per cent by the end of next year
Foreign investors demonstrated increased confidence in investments in Thailand in the first half of this year with many planning to invest over Bt130 billion in all Thai industries next year, according to Board of Investment (BoI) Secretary-General Atchaka Sibunruang.
She said the BoI has acknowledged an opinion survey conducted at random of 686 foreign companies in Thailand using questionnaires during February-July 2010.
It found foreign investors in Thailand have more confidence in all business areas this year than last year, evidenced by an increase in the confidence index to 71.9 per cent in 2010 from 41.5 per cent in 2009.
The survey showed more than half plan to keep their investment capital intact during 2010-2011 and 41 per cent are preparing to expand business in Thailand since they are confident in investment promotions, state-supported measures, and Thailand’s basic infrastructure.