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Analysts differ on baht movement as BOT sees decline 

Dec 11. 2019
As of December 4, foreign and Thai analysts saw opposing directions of the baht movement. 
As of December 4, foreign and Thai analysts saw opposing directions of the baht movement. 
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By The Nation

Foreign analysts predicted that the baht would depreciate next year, contrary to the views of their Thai counterparts.

The Bank of Thailand Scholarship Students (BOTSS) cited analysts’ forecast on the baht exchange rate in 2020, complied by Bloomberg news agency. It said median of the baht value would be declining next year.

The BOTSS Facebook page is run by current and former staffs of the central bank, it shares economic news and data with the public.

As of December 4, foreign and Thai analysts saw opposing directions of the baht movement. 

JPMorgan Chase forecast the baht would depreciate to Bt30.6 per dollar in the fourth quarter next year. While Standard Chartered believed it would drop to Bt31 per dollar in the same period and Bt31.30 in 2021.

Rabobank put the baht value at Bt33.8 per dollar in the final quarter of next year.

Their views differed from those of Thai analysts who estimated the baht would continue to appreciate against the US dollar and other currencies in the region. 

The predictions of foreign and Thai analysts suggested that the baht would move in either direction, or moving in a range between Bt28.7 to 33.8/dollar, according to BOTSS.

Earlier, deputy central bank governor Mathee Supapongse said the baht was on a downtrend but urged exporters to brace for a two-way movement.

His message was apparently intended to counter the negative views of some Thai exporters and analysts who saw continuous strengthening of the baht after a 7 per cent gain on the dollar this year.

Analysts at Kasikornbank forecast the baht to appreciate to Bt29.3 per dollar next year.

Charl Kengchon, executive chairman at Kasikorn Research Centre said on Monday that the baht will strengthen further if the US Federal Reserve lowers its key policy rate again in the first quarter next year. It is likely to happen, he added.  

A major factor pushing up the baht is the country's high current account surplus at around $30 billion, despite the higher figures in the past two years. 

Foreign investors will still consider the baht a safe haven asset among emerging market economies, Charl believes.

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