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Thai central bank, lenders offer more help for COVID-19 pandemic-hit debtors

Thai central bank, lenders offer more help for COVID-19 pandemic-hit debtors

Thailand's central bank is seen at the Bank of Thailand in Bangkok, Thailand, Apr 26, 2016. (File photo: Reuters/Jorge Silva)

BANGKOK: Thailand's central bank and its bankers' association said on Friday (Sep 3) they would offer more support measures for debtors affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

"We want debtors, SMEs and individuals who were impacted to receive the necessary fixes in the face of uncertainty," central bank deputy governor Ronadol Numnonda told a news conference, adding that debt restructuring measures will help with liquidity.

Commercial banks remain strong and able to support debtors he said, and measures will be fair to creditors and debtors and will avoid creating moral hazards, said Ronadol.

The Southeast Asian country has reported over 1.2 million cases and over 12,000 deaths, most of which came after April this year brought on by the Alpha and Delta variants.

Containment measures have crippled activity in Thailand's crucial tourism sector, which in a normal year accounts for 11 to 12 per cent of GDP and 20 per cent of employment. Increased exports and fiscal measures have lent the economy some support.

The majority of debtors for the programme are in the travel and supply chain industries, said Thai Bankers' Association chairman, Payong Srivanich.

Construction and real estate have also been affected.

Last month, the government cut its 2021 economic growth forecast to 0.7 per cent to 1.2 per cent from 1.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent, the third time it has done so.

Source: Reuters/ng

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