Tuesday, 8 August 2017

(The Star) Bank Negara's international reserves rise

PETALING JAYA: Bank Negara’s international reserves have risen for the eighth consecutive time since March, with the reserves rising another US$300mil to US$99.40bil (RM427bil) as at July 31 compared to July 14.

The central bank said in a statement that “the reserves position is sufficient to finance 7.9 months of retained imports and is 1.1 times the short-term external debt”.

Bank Negara’s international reserves have steadily improved after exporters were told to convert three quarters of their earnings back into ringgit, while their earnings have also risen because of higher demand from overseas markets.

A weaker US dollar following a series of political gaffes and the inability of US President Donald Trump to push reforms through the US Congress have also helped shore up the ringgit.

Bank Negara governor Datuk Seri Muhammad Ibrahim said in a forum during Invest Malaysia that Malaysia would need strong international reserves to mitigate the potential outflows that could come from investors rebalancing their portfolios.

The reserves were at their lowest in September 2015 when they fell to US$93.30bil from a high of US$141.40bil in May 2013.