The Thai baht hit a five-month high on Monday with optimism over the nation’s tourism sector boosting inflows.
Reuters reports that the baht rose as much as 0.7% for a second consecutive session due to inflows into stocks and bonds, as well as rising gold prices as sales of the metal in US dollars and conversion pushed it higher.
Despite being one of the region’s worst-performing currencies through 2021, the baht is quickly moving to the top of the rankings this year following bets that Thailand’s quarantine-free visa program will restart its crucial travel industry.
According to experts, optimism surrounding Thailand’s tourism industry has mitigated fallout from geopolitical risks and concerns surrounding Ukraine, which has weighed on most other Asian currencies.
“There is talk that the baht is a bit of a safe haven,” said Kobsidthi Silpachai, head of capital market research at Kasikornbank Plc in Bangkok.
The banker was quoted by Bangkok Post as saying that Thailand has been a net creditor country for over ten years, meaning it has more foreign-exchange reserves than external debt.
The currency rose to 32.303 per US dollar on Tuesday, the strongest since September, with experts wagering the baht may climb as high as 32.24 before the end of the week.
Meanwhile, the Bank of the Lao PDR has set the exchange of Lao kip to Thai baht at 346.10, with commercial banks exchanging as high as 351 kip to the baht.