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mdn Dec 19th, 2006 05:46 AM

Thai Financial Market Crash
The Thai Stock Market Index collapsed by almost 15% overnight after reports that the Thai government instituted far reaching curbs on foreign currency transactions and related regulations concerning banks in the country.

I would appreciate it if people who're on the ground there report back if they start having difficulties using ATM machines or converting Thai Baht into foreign currency in the days to come.
The situation is still pretty fluid and the next few days & weeks will be telling. For us tourists, it could mean more favorable exchange rates (cheaper hotels etc.) but the concern is that the situation continues to spiral downward resulting in financial chaos & public unrest. Will have to stay tuned.

Hanuman Dec 19th, 2006 06:24 AM

No worries for a typical tourist. The bank of Thailand passed some though regulations aiming at curbing f/x speculation. Basically if you bring more than USD 20,000 into Thailand you will have to keep it in Thailand for 1 year otherwise if you send it out before the 1 year period you will have to forfeit 30%.

Quite a drastic measure but the Baht was strengthening way too fast.

rhkkmk Dec 19th, 2006 06:35 AM

i would not call a 15% correction a collapse...the gov't is finally trying to get a handle on things

mdn Dec 19th, 2006 06:43 AM

That's true... not a collapse in it's real sense. Since I'll be going there in a few weeks, I just want to know how much currency to carry from here as opposed to depending on ATMs etc. Sounds like the situation is fine for now based on what Hanuman is saying.

JamesA Dec 19th, 2006 07:19 AM

It's really a non issue for the traveller except that you will get more baht than otherwise.

The Stock moment closed for a period of time. As Hanuman said the currecny was gaining in 'strength' fast ( and then some....). It only seems a short time ago there were 42 Baht to a USD, then down to 40, 39, 38, 37, now this morning just over 35.
I am not financial person but if they have done this to correctr that it suits me just fine!

From a tourist point of view you would only be getting 35 baht for your USD instread of around 40 not so long back, so that meade things more expensive for you, so this should address that.

From 'our' point of view for a $1k billing out we used to get 40-40k in Baht, that has dropped, so we likewise were getting less Baht.

Suits me fine!

None of this effects ATM withdrawals or anything like that whatsoever !
What I head on news was that it was to prevent currency speculation and that is why they have made these moves, again, I am no expert but if it means getting more Baht for you Buck that 'great'!

JamesA Dec 19th, 2006 07:30 AM

Just checked with an online currency place and they have the exchange at 35.89 tonight ( it was 35.25 this morning ).
If you are some high financier that I would guess is different but as a travel forum for visitors coming in and changing money you should be getting more baht and that makes things cheaper, so 'on this side of the fence' seems fine.

crosscheck Dec 19th, 2006 11:33 AM

Just arrived in BKK. We exchanged money at LAX so haven't had an ATM experience yet, but just checked into the Peninsula and they confirmed our room rate in dollars - Could the correction be the reason?

Kathie Dec 19th, 2006 11:43 AM

Many hotels have their rates confirmed in dollars. Unless you had a rate confirmed in Baht, I would expect your rate to be a dollar rate.

Hanuman Dec 19th, 2006 04:52 PM

The government just announced last night that they have review and made amendment to the new law. It now seem that if you want to bring money to invest in the stock market they will not impose any restriction on it. Quite a turnabout I guess they were shocked by the stock market's drastic fall.

crosscheck Dec 20th, 2006 02:36 AM

Used ATM today near Wat Pho with no issues.

Guenmai Dec 20th, 2006 02:43 AM

I got here on Sunday and it's Wednesday evening now. I got 35.08 baht to a dollar at Bangkok Bank Sunday and got 35.50 today. The dollar is at a crappy exchange rate. This time last year I got 40.89-41.00 baht to a dollar and in August 2006, 36.77. In August 2005 it was around 41.00+ I've had absolutely no problem exchanging money. I went into my branch of Bangkok Bank this morning and exchanged my traveler's checks. I haven't used my Thai ATM card yet, but folks are ATM-ing all over town. Happy Travels!

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