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Thai Central Bank Monitoring Impact of Money-Laundering Ruling

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- The Bank of Thailand said it is “closely monitoring” the impact of a global watchdog’s decision to label the country as uncooperative in efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

The central bank will seek details from commercial lenders to gauge whether the move has affected their business, Assistant Governor Pongpen Ruengvirayudh said in Bangkok today.

The Financial Action Task Force, a Paris-based intergovernmental organization, added Thailand to a list of countries including Cuba, Myanmar, Indonesia and Pakistan that have failed to make “sufficient progress” in introducing regulations to curb money laundering and the financing of terrorism, it said in a Feb. 16 statement.

Foreign investors “should see this as a short-term factor,” Pongpen said.

Deputy Governor Krirk Vanikkul said Thailand will need to introduce procedures to identify and freeze terrorist assets before being removed from the watchdog’s “dark gray list” of countries. Member countries may ask their financial institutions to be more careful in dealing with Thai banks, Krirk said today.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung said today the government doesn’t see any urgency in issuing new laws.

To contact the reporter on this story: Suttinee Yuvejwattana in Bangkok at Suttinee1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tony Jordan at tjordan3@bloomberg.net.

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