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Thai central bank says split vote to hold rates not a signal for tightening

The one-day repurchase rate has been unchanged since April 2015. — Reuters pic
The one-day repurchase rate has been unchanged since April 2015. — Reuters pic

BANGKOK, April 11 —Thailand’s split vote to hold its benchmark interest rate last month was not a signal for monetary policy tightening, an assistant central bank governor said today.

“It’s not like that, as a majority still voted to hold the rate,” Jaturong Jantarangs told a briefing, responding to a question on whether the split decision was a signal of monetary policy normalisation.

“It’s just one member who viewed current monetary policy as exceptionally accommodative,” he said.

On March 28, the committee voted 6-1 to leave the Bank of Thailand (BOT)’s one-day repurchase rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent, where it has been since April 2015, but the vote was spilt for first time in nearly three years.

The BOT will next review policy on May 16. Most analysts expect no policy change for the rest of 2018, though some predict rate increases in the second half of this year.

The BOT last raised the policy rate in August 2011, a quarter-point increase to 3.50 per cent. — Reuters

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