Business

Najib: Ringgit will be more stable this year

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said yesterday that new measures taken by the central bank will help stabilise the ringgit, state news agency Bernama reported.

Mr Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said of 149 world currencies, 123 faced a decline in value against the US dollar and Malaysia was not exempted nor the only country to be impacted. Excessive speculation in the offshore market, the fall in oil prices and rise in US interest rates last December, influenced the ringgit's fall, he added.

He said the decline was a source of concern, but the situation was outside the government's control, The Star newspaper reported.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) implemented measures in November to curb offshore trade of the ringgit and stem the fall of a currency that was one of Asia's worst performers last year.

"With the measures taken by BNM, the market is convinced that the ringgit will be more stable and volatility curtailed to normal levels in the near term," he told the first monthly gathering of the Prime Minister's Department for 2017.

BNM sent out form letters last November from banks in Malaysia to their offshore counterparts and clients asking them to sign a commitment to cease trading the ringgit in the non-deliverable forwards markets and then send the letters back to the central bank.

- THE STRAITS TIMES

CurrenciesmalaysiaNajib Razak