BANGKOK, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Thailand’s central bank said on Thursday it did not see a big impact on foreign trade and investment by being put on a U.S. currency watch list, nor should it impede its ability to conduct macroeconomic policies to safeguard domestic stability.
The comment came after Washington put Thailand on its watch list of countries suspected of taking measures to weaken their currencies against the dollar
The Bank of Thailand said it had conducted two-way intervention only to ride out baht volatility and had no intention to do use the exchange rate to gain an unfair trade advantage and competitiveness over trading partners, Assistant Governor Chantavarn Sucharitakul said in a statement.
“At this stage, the assessment is not expected to have a material impact on Thailand’s international trade, as well as the prospect for foreign direct investment into Thailand. Similarly, such assessment does not impede the ability of the BOT to fulfill its mandate on macroeconomic policies to safeguard domestic stability,” she said.
The BOT has been in close dialogue with the U.S. administration to foster an understanding of Thailand’s macroeconomic and financial conditions, and had also reiterated its commitment to exchange rate flexibility, she said.
The baht rose 0.6% to 29.82 per U.S. dollar, breaching the psychological 30 level and at the strongest since May 2013.
Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith also told reporters the inclusion was “not a worry at the moment”.
“It’s still a monitoring list and we don’t know what actions they might take. In handling the baht, it should not have any impact as the central bank is taking care of it,” he said.
(Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Kitiphong Thaichareon Editing by Ed Davies)