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Thailand Economy Sept 24

September 24, 2007
Industry club warns of capital inflows
All parties concerned should closely monitor renewed capital inflows into Thailand following the US Federal Reserve's cut of key interest rates by half a percentage point in a bid to ease sub-prime lending woes in the US economy, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

FTI chairman Santi Vilassakdanont said he believed the Fed's sharp rate cut will drive foreign capital into Thailand's stock market again.

So, the close watch must be kept on how much it would force strengthening the baht.

However, Mr. Santi said he is confident that the Bank of Thailand and the Finance Ministry will be able to supervise the baht to ensure it moves in the same direction with other regional currencies.

He said the private sector wants to see the baht move in a range of of 34-35 to the US dollar.

Mr. Santi said the latest figure on export growth of 17.9 per cent in August released by the Commerce Ministry should not be considered very high if compared with that of the first half of this year.

Nonetheless, the figure is considered high if compared with that of July, which saw exports expand only 5.9 per cent.

The FTI chief said he still believed the export would grow 12.5 per cent as targeted for the entire year.

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