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 18 Apr 2009

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Thailand plans $2.6bn in domestic loan to boost economy

Thailand's government approved a plan on Friday to raise an extra 94 billion baht ($2.66 billion) in the domestic market for spending to help the economy, dealt another blow by political violence this week, reported Reuters.

The new borrowing would increase its debt issuance to 619 billion baht from a planned 525 billion baht in the current fiscal year to Sept. 30, Pongpanu Svetarunda, chief of the Finance Ministry's public debt management unit, told reporters.

"The new borrowing will increase the amount of bonds in the market ... but we believe the market can absorb them because there is still ample liquidity in the system," Pongpanu said.

The new plan would include issues of 34 billion baht of two-to-20-year government bonds, of which 18 billion baht would be floating rate notes, and 30 billion baht of three- and six-month treasury bills.

The ministry would also issue 20 billion baht of promissory notes and 10 billion baht of savings bonds, Pongpanu said.

He said the new borrowing would increase the public debt as a proportion of gross domestic product to 44 percent at the end of this fiscal year from about 39 percent.

But Pongpanu said the additional borrowing might not be enough to offset larger revenue shortfalls if the economic slowdown intensified.

On Thursday Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said the impact of the chaos caused by anti-government protesters in Bangkok this week and the cancellation of an Asian summit in Pattaya had still to be assessed but it could deepen the economic contraction this year, earlier expected to be 2.5-3.0 percent.





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