Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)

Global recession fear overplayed, says Bank Negara Malaysia

(July 29): While the escalating trade tension between the US and China will moderate Malaysia’s economic growth, it will not cause a global economic recession next year, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

“I think the recession fear is overplayed at this point in time. What we are seeing is just lower growth compared with our long-term average,” said BNM Economics Department director Fraziali Ismail.

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Malaysia's SPV to buy underperforming Tabung Haji assets

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 5): Beset with problems, the new team at Lembaga Tabung Haji has crafted a turnaround plan that is likely to involve a special purpose vehicle (SPV) taking over its underperforming assets at book value, sources say.

The move will enable Tabung Haji to close the gap between its assets and liabilities. Tabung Haji is believed to now have around 80 sen in assets for every ringgit of liabilities.

Malaysia's special advisory council committed to meet first 100-day promises, says Maybank

SINGAPORE (May 16): The five-member Council of Eminent Persons, a team of special advisors announced by Malaysia’s prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on May 12, has hit the ground running.

Led by former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin, the council also includes former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Petronas chief Hassan Marican, business tycoon Robert Kuok, and esteemed economist Jomo Kwame Sundaram.

Malaysian ringgit expected to remain strong after reaching year high

SINGAPORE (Nov 17): The Malaysian ringgit (MYR) on Wednesday reached a one-year high against the USD at 4.1745. And due to encouraging domestic and external factors, economists expect the MYR to remain strong.

Uncertainty over the US Republican party’s tax bill has caused the USD to weaken, partly contributing to the ringgit’s strength, says RHB Research Institute.

Here's why Malaysians can't afford a house

(Oct 11): Malaysia’s central bank has a response to those saying it needs to do more to spur home loans: houses simply aren’t affordable.

Bank Negara Malaysia has created a website packed with data aimed at debunking the “myth” that access to financing was deterring home ownership, showing that loan approvals for key cities are near 70% or higher. The central bank has resisted calls to loosen mortgage lending, instead saying the property industry should boost efforts to cut costs and accelerate supply.

The long-term risks faced by OCBC with reduced stakes in Malaysian insurance operations

SINGAPORE (Sept 26): Maybank Kim Eng is maintaining its “hold” recommendation on OCBC Bank with an unchanged price target of $11.05 pending further details of reduced stakes in the Malaysian business of its 87.9%-owned insurance arm, Great Eastern Holdings (GEH).

This comes after GEH last week announced it was assessing its options to sell its minority stake in Great Eastern Life Assurance (Malaysia) to comply with Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) requirement of a minimum 30% domestic ownership in local insurance companies.

BNM forex scandal: Anwar denies failing to inform Cabinet of entire forex losses

SINGAPORE (Sept 8): Former finance minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim denied that he failed to inform the Cabinet of the entire foreign exchange (forex) trading losses incurred by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in the 1990s.

This was in response to claims by the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Thursday that Anwar failed to tell the Cabinet of BNM's forex losses of RM12.35 billion in 1992, RM15.29 billion in 1993, and RM3.86 billion in 1994 despite knowing about it.

BNM forex scandal: Former second finance minister claims responsibility for hedging ‘mistake’ made in 1990s

SINGAPORE (Sept 7): Over the hearing which took place at the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) yesterday, Malaysia’s former second finance minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, who served as adviser to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) from 1998 to 2000, admitted to having made the “mistake” of hedging 100% against currencies.

The hearing is part of ongoing investigations into BNM foreign exchange (forex) trading losses from 1988 to 1994, which is now estimated to stand at RM32.07 billion ($10.2 billion).

BNM forex scandal investigation reveals unreported RM31.5 bil in trading losses

SINGAPORE (Aug 22): After hearing witnesses’ testimonies on the very first day of hearing, the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) has concluded that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) lost about RM31.5 billion in foreign exchange (forex) trading losses in the 1990s.

The inquiry was set up in February after former BNM assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid alleged that Malaysia’s central bank had incurred an estimated RM25 billion in forex losses at the time – and not RM9 billion as previously reported.

Complacency is a dangerous issue when taming Asia’s most volatile currencies

From Bloomberg

(Aug 14): Policy makers in Indonesia and Malaysia have been so successful in quashing currency volatility that this is breeding a new danger: complacency.

Traders are being deprived of the experience to cope when fluctuations inevitably return, according to PT Bank OCBC NISP in Jakarta. At the same time, companies may cut back on hedging, exposing themselves to potential losses, says PT Sinarmas Sekuritas.

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