Bank Negara’s reserves fall to US$94.6b as of Dec 30

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Malaysia’s central bank said today that gross international reserves stood at US$94.6 billion as of Dec 30, lower than on Dec 15's level of US$96.4 billion.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said reserves were sufficient to finance 8.8 months of retained imports and were 1.3 times the short-term external debt.

The central bank said the reserve levels took into account the adjustment for foreign exchange revaluation changes, and remained supported by the current account surplus and inflows of foreign direct investment.

“These were, however, offset by direct investment abroad by Malaysian companies and some reversals of non-resident portfolio investments,” its statement said.

Malaysia’s reserves fell to an eight-month low at end-November, as the central bank imposed measures to boost liquidity and encourage domestic trade of the ringgit in efforts to stem the currency’s slide against a rising US dollar.

In 2016, the ringgit weakened about 4.3 percent against the US dollar.

- Reuters

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