UBS admits officer's appraisal of M'sia has errors

Modified 24 Apr 2019, 9:03 am

Swiss banking giant UBS has conceded that the widely reported gloomy assessment on Malaysia's economy by its officer Kelvin Tay (above) contained errors.

In a statement today, the bank's Singaporean branch said Tay had wrongly claimed that Malaysia had a current account deficit.

Malaysia has a current account surplus (value of total exports exceeding imports) for over 20 years.

The bank also clarified that Tay had erroneously stated that Putrajaya's abolition of GST would result in a higher dependence on oil revenue.

Read more: UBS remains positive on Malaysia's long-term prospects

UBS Singapore's corporate communications head Adeline Lee explained that Tay, the bank's regional chief investment officer, had made mistakes due to the confines of the short "live" interview with Bloomberg.

In view of this, she said the bank "regret any misunderstandings" as a result of that interview.

Tay's assessment had come amidst numerous news reports which pointed out that Malaysia's stock market was faring poorly, while neighbouring countries were experiencing a bull run.

Critics of the federal government had used Tay's assessment as evidence that the economy was badly managed.

However, Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Ming and Tony Pua, political secretary to the finance minister, had both pointed out glaring errors made on Tay's part.

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