Malaysia’s central bank pledges support as ringgit reaches 26-year low

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SINGAPORE: As the Malaysian ringgit reached another low, the country’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), issued a statement on Monday morning (April 15), saying it will ensure the “orderly functioning of the foreign exchange market.”

“This is supported by the ongoing initiatives with GLCs, GLICs, corporates, and exporters which continue unabated to further bring in flows and liquidity into the foreign exchange market,” BNM added.

The ringgit, which has been in free fall since last year and is one of the poorest-performing currencies in Asia, is close to the lowest level it has reached in 26 years since 1998.

Now at US$1 to RM 4.78, the ringgit fell by as much as 0.2 per cent on Apr 15, coming within a hair’s breadth of its most recent low in February, when it tumbled below 4.8 against the US dollar.

Read related: Bank Negara Malaysia responds to Ringgit’s fall to 26-year low

Bloomberg noted that despite the ringgit’s decline, it was still doing better than the South Korean won, Philippine peso, and Taiwan dollar on Monday morning thus far.

The Malaysian currency began to improve in March after the central bank said it would “encourage state-linked firms to repatriate foreign investment income and convert it into the local currency more consistently,” Bloomberg added.

The ringgit has been affected by a number of factors, including the continued strength of the US dollar, tensions in the Middle East, and China’s poor economic performance, Malaysia’s biggest trading partner.

“BNM continues to closely monitor conditions in the financial markets and will manage any risks arising from heightened financial market volatility.

BNM has engaged with financial market participants, including heads of treasury operations, who concur that any uncertainties would recede and stabilise once the geopolitical situation de-escalates,” the BNM statement reads.

BNM’s statement was in response to one made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Sunday (April 14) after escalated tensions in the Middle East.

“The government is currently closely monitoring the developments and also the position of the financial ma...

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