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Bank of Thailand prepares for US manipulation listing

The central bank governor admits there is a chance the US will add Thailand to a watch list on currency manipulation. (Bangkok Post photo)

Bank of Thailand governor Veerathai Santiprabhob has admitted there is a chance the United States will add Thailand to a watch list on currency manipulation because of a high current account surplus, but not for stepping into the foreign exchange market for trade advantages.

Thailand does not have a policy of currency intervention to gain a trade advantage and the firmer baht has been driven by external factors, especially the US-China trade dispute, he said on Thursday.

"Don't panic if Thailand is added to the US watch list. It will not affect the economy or our policy implementation," said Mr Veerathai.

The baht's rapid gain against the US dollar shows the central bank does not manage the currency for competitive advantage in trade, he said.

The local currency is Asia's best performing currency this year, rising more than 3% against the greenback.

The baht reversed the trend after the US-Sino trade tension flared up. Sentiment last month was dented by concerns over local political stability after March's election outcome added to the possibility of a new coalition government with a razor-thin majority.

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