About the Thai Baht

Country:	Thailand
Currency:	Baht
Alias:	Thai baht
ISO 4217 CODES:	THB/764
Symbol:	Bht

The Thai baht is the national currency of the Kingdom of Thailand, a Southeast Asian nation of approximately 65 million people. For 35 years following the end of World War II, the Baht was pegged directly to the U.S. dollar, but temporarily became a floating currency from 1980 to 1985. The baht was partially pegged again to U.S. dollar beginning in 1985, and a sudden devaluation of the currency became the primary triggering event for the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. The baht has since been returned to being a floating currency,

Background of the Thai Baht

Thailand has been an independent nation since AD 1238, and is the only country in southeast Asia never to be colonized by a foreign power. The country’s currency was formerly known as the tical, with one tical being equivalent to 15 grams of silver. The name baht – referring to a specific weight unit of 15 grams – was adopted for the country’s currency in the 1940s.

From 1945 to 1980, the exchange rate was fixed at USD$1=20Bht. The currency was floated until 1985, when the baht was pegged to a basket of currencies dominated by the U.S. dollar. The range of this peg varied from 20-26Bht to the dollar. The onset of the Asian financial crisis led the Royal Thai Mint to refloat the baht in July of 1997, and its value promptly dropped 30% against the U.S. dollar.

Thailand developed diversified manufacturing capabilities during the 1980s and 1990s, and the United States is Thailand’s primary export market for items such as electronics, electrical appliances, garments, textiles and furniture. Thailand’s tourism industry continues to draw visitors from around the world.

The baht is divided into 100 stang. Denominations for coins are 25 satang, 50 satang, 1 baht, 5 baht, and 10 baht. Color-coded denominations for banknotes are10B (brown), 20B (green), 50bB (blue), 100B (red), 500B (purple) and 1,000B (beige). Baht notes are scaled in size – the larger the note, the higher the value.

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