CEO Morning Brief

BNM Considering More Measures to Prop Up Ringgit, Says Deputy Governor

Publish date: Thu, 13 Jun 2024, 10:41 AM
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TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

KUALA LUMPUR (June 12): Malaysia’s central bank is considering further measures to prop up the ringgit, according to deputy governor Adnan Zaylani.

“Going forward, we are still looking at what are the various other measures that we can undertake to ensure that the ringgit remains stable and supported," Adnan said at Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) Sasana Symposium 2024.

In the meantime, Adnan reiterated that BNM is actively engaging with the corporates to bring back foreign currency funds and convert them to ringgit.

“I think we have already spoken to a number of corporates who have foreign currency balances, that they are encouraged to repatriate and convert their foreign currency balances, and we are happy to give them approval,” he said.

BNM will approve corporates' reinvestment abroad when the time comes, noted Adnan.

“If they need to invest abroad — they can come to us to get the approval. So this is a couple of things that we are doing to ensure that the ringgit remains stable and supported,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bursa Malaysia Bhd chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar said at the same conference that exports in the local currency are still low compared to other currencies.

About 60% to 70% of export proceeds are in ringgit which is “pretty low compared to many other countries,” Wahid said. “Many exporters still like to keep their export proceeds in foreign currency.”

The ringgit fell on February 20 to its 26-year low of 4.800 against the US dollar, last seen in 1998 during the peak of the Asian financial crisis. The ringgit, however, has appreciated significantly in recent months.

BNM has been talking to government-linked investment companies, government-linked companies, and even corporates and exporters to repatriate and convert their foreign incomes. The central bank has also engaged them about their investments abroad and foreign currency balances.

On May 20, Adnan said BNM has been working to pilot a fast-track pre-approval framework for corporates that bring back foreign currency funds and convert them to ringgit, enabling them to reinvest abroad when the time comes.

The pilot was considered as many corporates found it more expedient not to bring foreign currency balances back to avoid the approval process for reinvesting abroad, Adnan said back then.

Source: TheEdge - 13 Jun 2024

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