Amadeusz Juskowiak

Bankers see sharp rise in thai foreign reserves

Thailands improving economy will likely cause foreign reserves to increase to at least five billion dlrs by end1987 from a record of nearly 42 billion at endFebruary private bankers said

Bank of Thailand statistics show foreign reserves rose to 395 billion at endJanuary from 303 billion a year earlier

Nimit Nonthapanthawat chief economist at the Bangkok Bank Ltd said Thailands strong export performance its relatively high interest rates foreign participation in its stock market and growing foreign investment especially from Japan contributed to the projected sharp rise

Thai exports rose 194 pct in 1986 and are expected to expand another 15 pct this year bankers said

A US Embassy report said last month Thailand could achieve five pct real gross domestic product growth in 1987 up from a projection of 38 pct for 1986 and 37 pct in 1985

Nonthapanthawat said if economic growth continues at its current pace and oil prices and major currencies remain stable the five billion 1987 reserves target can easily be reached

Thailand calculates foreign reserves to include gold special drawing rights and convertible currencies The target is equivalent to fiveandahalf months worth of imports

REUTER