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Thailand Considers Hedge Fund Tax To Curb Currency Speculation

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

30 December 2003


Thailand’s government is considering placing taxes on hedge funds as part of proposals to discourage speculation in the baht and stabilise flows in and out of the currency.

"We are considering imposing taxes targeting [foreign] investors such as hedge funds, which seek short-term gains both in stock prices and in foreign exchange rates," Finance Minister Suchart Jaovisidha confirmed recently.

The proposed taxes would be applied when investors transfer money out of the country, although the minister revealed that each case would be judged on its individual merits. "Something wrong can be detected when players invest in Thai shares and then draw their money out in one or two months," Suchart observed in a recent Wall Street Journal report.

This year the government imposed, with some degree of success, a 300 million baht ($7.6 million) restriction on the amount of local currency that can be held by any one non-resident in a domestic institution, in an attempt to limit the ability of speculators to influence the short term direction of the currency.


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