Thai central bank eyes additional debt restructuring package amid grim economic outlook

Source: Xinhua| 2020-10-14 23:08:07|Editor: huaxia

BANGKOK, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Thai central bank on Wednesday said in its weekly press conference that it was working out an additional debt restructuring package using targeted measures to help borrowers in a grim economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The additional package is intended to improve the efficiency of existing measures and address borrowers' problem in a targeted manner, said Mathee Supapongse, assistant governor of the Bank of Thailand (BOT).

The package will include a debt holiday, soft loans and other related measures, said Mathee.

The BoT had previously rolled out two phases of debt relief measures, with the first having started in April and the second from July. The first-phase program is due to expire on Oct. 22, while the second phase will expire at the end of this year.

The BoT has discussed with financial institutions about borrowers' debt-servicing ability, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and retail customers, to evaluate the outlook following the upcoming end of the second-phase debt relief measures, said Mathee.

He said the Thai economy continued to see uneven economic recovery, as the debt repayment ability of low-income earners, SME businesses and tourism operators are still in a fragile stage.

Therefore the central bank is encouraging financial institutions to help customer segments with debt restructuring and the central bank will offer incentives for this assistance, Mathee said.

Meanwhile, Don Nakornthab, senior director for BoT's Economic and Policy Department, said the central bank forecast that Thailand's economic recovery will take at least two years to return to the pre-pandemic era.

The sluggish economic recovery will mainly affect tourism and export sectors, Don said. Enditem