April 22, 2020 / 9:34 AM / 3 months ago

Thailand to borrow $18.6 billion this fiscal year for anti-coronavirus effort

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand plans to borrow 600 billion baht ($18.56 billion) in the current fiscal year to September and 400 billion baht in the next fiscal year to finance measures to mitigate the coronavirus impact, a finance ministry official said on Wednesday.

The government will borrow at least 80% from the domestic market via short and long-term debt issues and bank loans, Patricia Mongkhonvanit, the head of the ministry’s public debt management office, told reporters.

It will consider loans from international agencies, such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, if terms are appropriate, she said.

The 1 trillion-baht borrowing plan was approved by the king on Sunday.

The government will open bids for four-year promissory notes worth 70 billion baht on April 29, Patricia said.

It also plans sell at least 100 billion baht of savings bonds in the next one to two months, she said.

The new borrowing plan will increase the public debt to 51.84% of GDP in the current fiscal year and to 57.96% in the next fiscal year, she said.

Thailand, which has reported 2,826 people cases and 49 deaths, has announced billions of dollars of economic measures, including cash handouts, to alleviate the outbreak impact.

Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon, writing by Orathai Sriring, editing by Larry King; Editing by

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