BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s central bank said on Tuesday it would allow Thais to invest directly in overseas securities later this month, as part of a plan announced last year to encourage capital outflows to hold down the baht currency.

From July 20 individuals or firms with deposits or securities of 100 million baht ($2.85 million) or more can directly invest up to $5 million per year in overseas securities, Bank of Thailand Assistant Governor Chantavarn Sucharitakul said in a statement.

Thai authorities have been encouraging a weakening of the baht to aid exports, which have slumped over the past three years and have been a major drag on the economy.

The central bank also relaxed rules on corporate treasuries, allowing them to raise funds by issuing foreign-currency securities in both Thailand and abroad from July 28.

Previously, they had to borrow from financial institutions.

They will also be allowed to invest in foreign-currency securities issued in Thailand and overseas, the central bank said. Previously, they could only invest in such securities sold abroad.

The baht was at 35.12 per dollar at 0526 GMT, hovering around a two-month high hit on Monday. It has risen about 2.5 percent against the dollar so far this year.

(Reporting by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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