Thai central bank extends $16 billion soft loans for smaller firms by six months – About Your Online Magazine

ARCHIVE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective mask walks on a street in Bangkok, Thailand, September 30, 2020. REUTERS / Soe Zeya Tun / Photo from the archive

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s central bank extended its 500 billion baht (12.41 billion pounds) soft loan program by six months to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) deal with the impact of the coronavirus, according to a statement on its website.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) also allowed listed SMEs to participate in the program, which started in April as part of a larger 1.9 trillion baht coronavirus response package.

The BOT has approved about 119 billion baht in loans so far and has said twice that it plans to extend the program for six months.

The second largest economy in Southeast Asia suffered its deepest contraction in 22 years in the second quarter, when the pandemic affected tourism and domestic activity.

BOT expects a record economic contraction of 7.8% this year.

Reporting by Orathai Sriring; Editing by David Holmes

Paula Fonseca