Bloomberg News

Baht Trades Near Three-Month Low After Funds Sell Thai Stocks

June 20, 2011

Khalid Qayum

June 20 (Bloomberg) -- Thailand’s baht traded near the weakest level in more than three months after global funds reduced holdings of the nation’s shares ahead of national elections next month.

The currency lost 0.9 percent this month as overseas investors sold $704 million more Thai shares than they bought during the period, according to exchange data as of June 17. Thai Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, who commanded troops in the 2006 coup, urged voters last week to pick “good people” in the July 3 polls and warned criticism of the monarchy won’t be tolerated, according to a video on the website of the army- controlled Channel 7 TV station.

“We are already seeing an outflow of funds from stocks as there are some concerns about domestic politics,” said Paisarn Lertkowit, a currency trader at Bangkok Bank Pcl. “There is selling pressure as investors seek safer assets.”

The baht fell 0.1 percent to 30.60 per dollar as of 3:15 p.m. in Bangkok, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency touched 30.66 today and on June 17, its weakest level since March 1.

Thailand’s exports rose at the slowest pace in seven months in May as disruption to supplies after the earthquake in Japan interrupted auto shipments, the commerce ministry said in Bangkok today. Overseas sales increased 17.6 percent from a year earlier, from a gain of 24.6 percent in April. The median of 10 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 15.6 percent gain.

The one-year onshore interest-rate swap, the fixed cost needed to receive a floating payment, fell 6.5 basis points from the end of last week to 3.145 percent. The yield on the 5.25 percent debt due May 2014 rose four basis points to 3.53 percent.

--Editors: Ven Ram, Simon Harvey

To contact the reporter on this story: Khalid Qayum in Singapore kqayum@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sandy Hendry at shendry@bloomberg.net


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