Friday, February 3, 2012

Malaysia Central Bank Holds Policy Rate at 3.00%

The Bank Negara Malaysia kept its Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) steady at 3.00%.  The Bank said: "In the MPC's assessment, the global environment will become more challenging going forward. As Malaysia's economic growth and inflation prospects will be affected by these external developments, the MPC will continue to assess carefully the risks to domestic growth and inflation."

The Bank Negara Malaysia last increased the OPR by 25 basis points to 3.00% in May last year, it also increased the Statutory Reserve Requirement (SRR) by 100bps to 3.00% at that meeting, and increased the SRR again in July by 100bps to 4.00%.  Malaysia saw inflation of 3.4% in September, compared to 3.3% in August, 3.4% in July, 3.5% in June, 3.3% in May, 3.2% in April, and 3.0% March.  

The Malaysian economy grew 3.7% in the September quarter, up from 2.8% in the June quarter, compared to -2.8% in the March quarter (+1.5% in Q4 2010), while growing 5.8% on an annual basis compared to 4.3% and 4.9% in the previous quarters (4.8% in Q4 2010).  Malaysia's currency, the Malaysian ringgit (MYR), has weakened about 1% against the US dollar over the past year, while the USDMYR exchange rate last traded around 3.01


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