The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is keeping a close watch on the military coup in Thailand but it is too early to assess the impact on financial markets, IMF officials said on Wednesday.
The Thai baht fell sharply against the dollar as markets reacted nervously to news that Thailand's armed forces had seized power on Tuesday from Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a late-night bloodless coup.
"We are monitoring the situation," IMF spokesman Bill Murray said as governors from IMF member nations gathered for the second day of the Fund's annual meeting in Singapore.
"It's too early for us to assess the impact on financial markets," added Masood Ahmed, IMF's head of communications.
Thailand's financial markets were closed on Wednesday following the announcement of a coup and imposition of martial law. They are expected to reopen on Thursday.
Most of Thailand's delegation to IMF and World Bank meetings in Singapore rushed home on Wednesday after the coup but the country's finance minister appeared to be staying on.
"They are about to get in the car and go to the airport," said a Thai delegate, declining to be named because of the uncertain situation.
He said the early departure of most of the 20-30 Thai delegates on the final day of World Bank-IMF meetings appeared to be prompted by the Tuesday night coup against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Thailand's Minister of Finance Thanong Bidaya, however, appeared to be staying on in Singapore for now, he added.
Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's deputy Chidchai Vanasathidya was detained at the army headquarters following the coup, army officials said.
Thaksin was in New York, where he was attending the UN General Assembly.