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Thai central bank seen holding key rate on Wednesday

Monday, August 3, 2015 - 16:02
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Thailand's central bank is expected to leave its policy interest rate steady on Wednesday, a Reuters poll showed.

[BANGKOK] Thailand's central bank is expected to leave its policy interest rate steady on Wednesday, a Reuters poll showed.

Nineteen of 23 economists polled predict the one-day repurchase rate will be left unchanged at 1.50 per cent at the Aug. 5 meeting of the monetary policy committee (MPC).

The other four expect a 25 basis point cut to 1.25 per cent, which would match the record low set in April 2009 during the global financial crisis.

Finance Minister Sommai Phasee said last week lower interest rates would not help the economy amid weak investment.

At its last meeting in June, the MPC voted 7-0 to hold the rate after unexpectedly cutting it by 25 basis points in March and again in April to try to spur growth.

Southeast Asia's second-largest economy has yet to regain traction one year after the army took power to end political unrest. Growth last year was 0.9 per cent, the lowest since 2011.

For 2015, the central bank in June cut its growth forecast to 3.0 per cent from 3.8 per cent.

It is hoping a weaker baht will lift sagging exports. The baht has depreciated about 6 per cent against the dollar this year.

REUTERS