Central bank decides to maintain policy rate at 1.5 per cent

Economy September 20, 2018 01:00

Bank of Thailand (BOT)’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided yesterday to leave the policy rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent to bolster growth and cope with the inflation target framework, while maintaining its forecast for this year’s economic growth at 4.4 per cent.



Five of seven MPC members agreed to put the benchmark rate on hold, while two voted to raise the rate by 25 basis points to 1.75 per cent for more policy space and lower risks to financial stability in light of Thailand’s prolonged monetary easing.

Jaturong Jantarangs, secretary to the MPC and BOT assistant governor for Monetary Policy Group, said the committee maintains its forecast for economic growth at 4.4 per cent this year and 4.2 per cent next year due to estimated continued economic expansion.

However, risks, particularly from prolonged monetary easing, to the financial system and uncertainties of US trade sanctions against their trading partners and their retaliations must be monitored.

Amidst the escalating US-China trade war, the export of Thai products has been slowing down at some level, but Thailand could gain from the likely relocation of manufacturing bases to the country.

The MPC put its forecast of Thai export expansion on hold at 5.5 per cent this year, while revising up its estimate for next year’s export growth from 3.8 per cent in its June meeting to 4.1 per cent.

This year’s estimated 2018 import growth is raised from 6.3 per cent to 7.5 per cent, but next year’s import growth forecast is slashed from 3.8 per cent to 3.3 per cent.

Thailand’s headline inflation is projected at 1.1 per cent this year, quickening to 1.2 per cent in 2019. Core inflation is estimated at 0.7 per cent this year, accelerating to 0.9 per cent next year.

IconSiam all set for dazzling 

opening in November

IconSiam, a Bt54-billion development being built by the Chao Phraya River, has confirmed that it will open on November 9. 

The much anticipated 750,000 square metre mega-destination promises to bring immediate global attention to Bangkok with a glittering launch programme conducted over the course of an entire week, and a line-up of many “first-time-in-Thailand” store concepts and features. 

IconSiam will open with an unprecedented line-up of 14 iconic flagship stores of premium luxury brands. Many of these ultra-luxury brands have located their flagships stores in the 25,000sqm glass pavilion called Iconluxe, which is situated next to the river and has the longest pillar-less glass facade in the world.

GET to provide on-demand 

platform within this year

Korlarp Suwacharangkul, chief marketing officer and co-founder of GET, said GET is an on-demand application providing ride-hailing, delivery and other services. The app is technologically backed by GO-JEK. 

GET is offering pre-registration for users to become app testers at getth.co/preregis.

This is the pre-release version of the app and pre-registered users will be among the first in Bangkok, while also helping the GET team refine the user experience. 

The company expects more than 100 users and hopes to be ready for a soft launch by next month. Initially, it will offer GET Win, which will include motorcycle taxi services, as well as food delivery and messenger services. 

“GET will provide a range of services, including transportation, logistics and more. GET was founded with the goal of using technology to improve lives in Thailand by providing access to products and services, creating more value for society by promoting efficiency and productivity, and improving financial inclusion,” Korlarp said.

He added that GET is relying on the Indonesian “super app” Go Jek to handle more than 100 million transactions per month, and will use that data to improve its services for users, drivers and local businesses.