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Economy Overview: Part 1

This article is an opinion piece written by John Ginnane and does not represent the views or opinions of Baker Tilly Thailand

Whilst Thailand is yet to suffer the latest Omicron variant, there is no doubt the Thai government is between a rock and a hard place. A protracted lockdown or onerous ASQ requirements will certainly devastate the tourism industry with economic knock-on effects to the broader community. As it is an election year, regardless of the decisions they make, the government will be heavily criticized by the people.

“The Bank of Thailand has tightened its control over the banking industry”

By the end of 2Q22, as COVID and respective restrictions are expected to ease, the after-shock impact of what has occurred over the past few years will likely emerge.  Already many large property developers and hotel operators, as well as associated businesses are in some distress. Fresh financing for new or partly finished projects will become difficult to achieve.  Investors will be reluctant to invest unless they can obtain favorable discounts. An attempt to stabilize Bank provisions for bad debts in both retail and corporate markets is not going to be sustainable.

The Bank of Thailand has tightened its control over the banking industry over the last decade so the impact will be considerably less than what was witnessed during the Asian crisis. Going forward, it is likely the BoT will continue to take a softer stance on banks seeking to restructure customer debts into a long-term rescheduling.

in the second part of our overview we will take a deeper look into the current Non Performing Loan market