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Thai PM says new fin minister to be unveiled next week

* Finance minister quit after less than a month in the post

* Ex-transport minister, company executive among candidates-media

* Economy expected to shrink by a record 8.5% this year


BANGKOK, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Thailand’s prime minister said on Monday he would pick a new finance minister by next week for the job of reviving an ailing economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic after the abrupt exit of the previous minister.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy could contract by a record 8.5% this year, with the key tourism sector taking a beating, the finance ministry has forecast.

The next finance minister will have to know economic matters and the work of the government, Prayuth Chan-ocha told a briefing.

“You will know that next week,” he said, adding that person will have to be “decisive and strong”.

There will be no cabinet position swaps, Prayuth said.

Banker Predee Daochai quit as finance minister on Sept. 1 after only a few weeks, which Prayuth said was for health reasons.

Investors wants a suitable replacement to build confidence and for policy continuity with billions of dollars of stimulus measures being rolled out as the government struggles to pull the economy out of a slump. [

According to media reports, candidates include Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, who was a transport minister in Prayuth’s military-led government and is a former head of the state planning agency, and Krairit Euchukanonchai, chairman of energy group PTT Plc.

Deputy Finance Minister Santi Promphat said previously he was “ready to work for the country”. (Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Satawasin Staporncharnchai Editing by Ed Davies)