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Thailand Ends New Investment Restrictions After Market Plunge


Thailand has rescinded harsh new restrictions on foreign investment in stocks, after a sharp 15 percent plunge in the nation's stock market.

The Thai central bank imposed restrictions Monday that required foreign investors to keep their money in the country for at least one year or face severe financial penalties.

The move was intended to weaken Thailand's currency, the baht, which recently hit a nine-year high against the U.S. dollar.

Thai exporters had urged the bank to control the baht. They said its growing strength was hurting Thai exports by making them more expensive on world markets.

The central bank's new restrictions caused a dramatic drop in the stock market Tuesday.

That prompted officials to rethink the curbs on foreign investment in stocks. The new restrictions remain in effect for other investments, including bonds.

Thailand's financial turmoil reminded investors of the 1997 Asian financial crisis that started in Thailand.

But experts point out the problem in 1997 was a weak Thai currency while the current concern is the growing strength of the bhat.

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