Thai Central Bank Extends $16 Billion Soft Loan Program for SMEs

The Bank of Thailand extended its 500 billion baht ($16 billion) “soft loan” program for small and medium-sized enterprises by six months to help with the effects of the lingering Covid-19 outbreak, the central bank said on its website.

The central bank also relaxed rules to allow listed SMEs to join the low interest-rate lending program, which started April 23 and was due to end Oct. 22. Only 119 billion baht has been approved to 71,008 borrowers so far, according to the announcement.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy is on course this year for its worst contraction on record, with the central bank predicting gross domestic product will shrink 7.8% as the effects of the pandemic cripple the nation’s trade- and tourism-reliant economy.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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