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The British Pound (GBP) to Thai Baht (THB) exchange rate was fixed for a number of years but has fluctuated within a range of +/-50 percent since the latter was floated on markets at the end of the 20th century. Below is some information about each currency and the history of the GBP / THB exchange rate.
The British Pound, aka Sterling, is the official currency of the UK, as well as several other small territories around the globe. One Pound is subdivided into 100 pence. Its currency code is GBP and the currency symbol is £.
As the world's oldest continuously traded currency, the Pound is its fourth most traded, with only the exchange of US Dollars (USD), Euros (EUR) and Japanese Yen (JPY) coming ahead of it in volume. Sterling is issued by the Bank of England (BoE), which also sets interest rates for the UK economy.
The term Pound Sterling was initially derived from the Old English term for small star, which was present on the coins at the time. Forex traders in currency markets often use the term 'Cable' to denote the Pound to Dollar exchange rate (GBP / USD).
Interesting to know: the British Pound is colloquially known by many names, including a 'quid' (£1), a 'pony' (£25), a 'monkey' (£500) and a 'grand' (£1,000).
Ranked as the tenth most frequently traded currency, the Thai Baht (THB) is the official currency of the Kingdom of Thailand. One Baht is subdivided into 100 satang. The currency code for the currency is THB and its currency symbol is ฿.
For many years the Thai currency was pegged to the US Dollar (USD), although this all changed in July 1997 when the Asian financial crisis swept the region and caused the Bank of Thailand (BoT) to float the currency on the free market. The BoT now sets targets for the value of THB using interest rates as its primary policy instrument. According to Bloomberg, the Thai Baht was the world’s best performing currency in 2018.
Interesting to know: It is considered improper in Thailand to carry bank notes in your back pocket in case you inadvertently sit upon an image of the King, who graces all Thai notes.
The Pound Thai Baht exchange rate (GBP / THB) has exhibited a series of spikes and troughs over the years. The most dramatic spike occurred during the Asian financial crisis of 1997 when the value of the Pound jumped to over 90 Thai Baht. More ordinarily, the GBP / THB currency pairing has fluctuated between ฿40 – ฿60 since the 1950s, when the Thai currency was pegged to the US Dollar (USD).
Currently, one Pound buys around 40 Thai Baht, although it has been on a weakening trajectory since the start of the 21st century, with GBP / THB hovering around 70 in the early 2000s.
In 2020 so far, the GBP / THB exchange rate has been rising slightly from around 39 to the 40 range today.
The British Pound (GBP) is influenced primarily by Bank of England interest rates and UK political and economic developments, especially relations with the European Union. With the major part of the UK economy relying on consumer spending and financial services (stocks, bonds and insurance products traded in the City of London), the valuation of the Pound can be sensitive to any factor which affects these.
Immediately after the Brexit referendum in the UK there was a widespread slump in the value of the Pound on world markets, although in the case of GBP / THB this was outweighed by the emerging economy debt crisis, which was considered more impactful.
As for the Thai Baht, being so close to Asia’s biggest economy – China – means that Chinese economic growth projections and trade numbers all impact Thailand and its currency. Thailand is considered by analysts to possess a dynamic economy that has fared well since the economic crisis in the late 1990s, although factors which may hold it back include stubbornly low inflation and a rapidly aging population. The economy relies on exports, most notably tourism, and the Thai Baht is susceptible to changes in risk sentiment and global trade jitters.
The British Pound Thai Baht (GBP / THB) exchange rate today is being driven by global risk assessment and political developments.
In Mar 2020 the Bank of England opted to cut interest rates in order to stimulate the economy in the face of fears relating to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of this the Pound ticked higher against the Thai Baht.
Looking ahead, the Pound to Thai Baht exchange rate is likely to continue to be driven by the economic fallout from the coronavirus health scare, with THB likely coming under further pressure if US Dollar rates continue to rise. A stronger Dollar makes it harder for Thai businesses to repay loans denominated in the US currency, as well as increasing the cost of imported commodities.
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