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

BANGKOK, Oct. 17 (Reuters) – Thailand’s central bank extended its 500 billion baht ($ 16 billion) soft loan program by six months to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) deal with the impact of coronavirus pandemic, 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 ($ 61 billion) 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. ($ 1 = 31.19 baht) (Report by Orathai Sriring Edition by David Holmes)

Paula Fonseca