|Bid||0.00 x 1000|
|Ask||0.00 x 1000|
|Day's Range||470.40 - 482.99|
|52 Week Range||252.94 - 517.65|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.63|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||70.62|
|Earnings Date||Aug 05, 2020 - Aug 10, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||5.94 (1.23%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Aug 27, 2020|
|1y Target Est||532.60|
(Bloomberg) -- The Bank of Thailand held its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a third straight meeting to save its limited policy space, allowing fiscal policy to take the lead in reviving an economy headed for its worst annual performance ever.The central bank kept the policy rate unchanged Wednesday at 0.5% in a unanimous decision, after lowering rates three times earlier this year. All 22 economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted the hold.The pandemic has devastated two of Thailand’s main growth drivers, tourism and trade. The government has responded with a series of stimulus measures, including a $2.2 billion program of cash handouts and co-pay programs approved this week to boost consumption and jobs.In a briefing after the decision, Assistant Governor Titanun Mallikamas said central bank policy remained accommodative but fiscal policy should be the driving force in a recovery, focusing on jobs and economic restructuring.“Going forward, government policies from various agencies needed to be more targeted and timely,” he said.The central bank revised up its growth forecast for this year, predicting a 7.8% contraction compared with a previous projection of an 8.1% decline. It cut next year’s forecast to 3.6% growth from 5% previously, citing fading expectations for a tourism revival.“There’s a concern that without more fiscal measures, the economy will be worse.” said Komsorn Prakobphol, a senior strategist at Tisco Financial Group Pcl in Bangkok. “There’s a limitation for any aggressive monetary policy with the interest rate already at a very low level.”The baht fell as much as 0.6% against the dollar to its lowest level since Aug. 25, before recovering slightly to 31.509 to the dollar as of 3:25 p.m. in Bangkok. The benchmark SET Index of stocks fell 0.2%.In TransitionThailand will undergo a transition in fiscal and monetary policy leadership over the next few months. Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob is leaving the central bank at the end of this month when his five-year term expires, handing over to Sethaput Suthiwart-Narueput, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee. The government also is seeking a replacement for Finance Minister Predee Daochai, who resigned in early September after less than a month in the position.Tim Leelahaphan, an economist at Standard Chartered Plc in Bangkok, said the central bank will likely have to cut the key rate by 25 basis points in the fourth quarter, as the government has limited ability to boost the economy via fiscal measures.“The fiscal policy outlook is in doubt after the recent resignations of two successive finance ministers; it remains unclear who will fill the position,” he said. “The political situation could pose an additional risk to the economy, given ongoing protests.”Veerathaisaid in a recent interview that the central bank has been studying unconventional policy steps such as yield-curve control, but doesn’t think they’re needed right now. While all options, including interest-rate cuts, remain on the table, targeted policies that get funds to the sectors that need them can be most effective, he said.Other key points from the decision and briefing:It will take two years for the economy to return to its pre-pandemic levelThe MPC will assess the need for any fresh steps in the FX market, as a possible rebound in the baht could affect the economic recoveryThe bank raised its inflation forecast for this year, to -0.9% from -1.7% in June, and for 2021 to 1% from 0.9%The bank raised its 2020 export forecast -- now expecting an 8.2% contraction versus -10.3% in June -- while maintaining its 2021 forecast at 4.5% export growthThe forecast for tourist arrivals this year was lowered to 6.7 million, from 8 million in June. Next year’s forecast was lowered to 9 million from 16.2 million(Adds analyst comment in seventh paragraph, updates market levels in eighth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The Central Bank of Nigeria’s surprise interest-rate cut on concerns of a looming recession may be insufficient to boost growth in Africa’s largest economy.Of the 10 members of the monetary policy committee who attended its meeting, six voted to lower the rate to 11.5% from 12.5%, Governor Godwin Emefiele said at a briefing in the capital, Abuja, on Tuesday. That’s the second cut this year and came even as inflation has been above target since 2015. All six economists in a Bloomberg survey expected the rate to remain unchanged.The lockdown of major cities to curb the spread of the coronavirus pushed up food prices faster and those remain under pressure due to floods, a weaker naira and clashes between herders and farmers. President Muhammadu Buhari’s order to ban access to foreign currency for food and fertilizer imports could also stoke inflation as businesses will look to the parallel market for dollars. The government’s move to end fuel subsidies and raise electricity tariffs will add to consumers’ costs.The drop in the production and price of oil, Nigeria’s biggest source of foreign exchange, added to a shortage of dollars and the steepest drop in gross domestic product in at least 10 years.“Any policy that focuses on stimulating credit growth alone without a major revamp of the structural bottlenecks in the economy will do little to provide cheaper credit” to boost output, said Oluwasegun Akinwale, a research officer at Nova Merchant Bank Ltd.What Bloomberg’s Economist Says“The rate cut is unlikely to achieve the desired effect. What is more likely in our view is for growth to continue to be undermined by ongoing currency restrictions, and for inflation to continue to accelerate. This will intensify the current dilemma facing the monetary policy committee and weaken the effectiveness of monetary policy even further as the central bank adopts an ever-widening array of distortionary tools that pull in different directions in order to reconcile these competing objectives. This includes the ‘bold’ steps Emefiele to intends to take to stabilize the exchange rate.”\--Boingotlo Gasealahwe, Africa economistOver the past year, the central bank has introduced measures such as a moratorium on loan-interest payments, reducing lending rates for critical sectors and increasing the minimum loan-to-deposit ratio for banks in an effort to stimulate the economy. These interventions have been paying off and will continue, Emefiele said. While the central bank targets inflation in a band of 6% to 9% and is concerned about the uptick in the number, it was driven by structural factors and not monetary policy, he said.The MPC also adjusted the asymmetric corridor, which means the cost at which lenders borrow was lowered to 100 basis points above the monetary policy rate and the return their deposits reduced to 700 basis points below the benchmark. That’s to push commercial banks to increase lending. The move shows even deeper easing than could have been expected, according to Razia Khan, chief economist for Africa and the Middle East at Standard Chartered Bank.“The bigger issue surrounds the more immediate drivers of inflation – foreign-exchange bottlenecks that might complicate any effective harmonization plans,” Khan said in an emailed note. “The action of easing policy while inflation is still accelerating, sends, at best, a mixed message around Nigeria’s willingness to re-open the foreign-exchange market.”(Updates with economists’ comments from fifth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Europe's stock markets clawed back some ground on Tuesday, a day after rising second waves of the coronavirus epidemic caused the region's biggest wipeout since June and drove investors back to government bonds. Conditions were still choppy with South Korea and China pulling Asia down for a second day and tech-heavy Nasdaq now out of its recent stellar range, so it was a relief for traders to see Europe and U.S. futures stabilise. As investors stayed close to safety, yields on Germany's government bonds held near six-week lows and the dollar inched up.