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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Bank Negara reserves decline to RM356b

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) international reserves fell RM8.3bil to RM356.4bil (US$94.5bil) over the past two weeks until Aug 14.

BNM said on Thursday the international reserves as at Aug 14 was sufficient to finance 7.5 months of retained imports and it was 1.0 time the short-term external debt.

The reserves had declined by RM8.3bil from the RM364.7bil (US$96.7bil) as at July 31, 2015.

The reserves position then was sufficient to finance 7.6 months of retained imports and was 1.1 times the short-term external debt.

The above news was taken from Bank Negara reserves decline to RM356B from The Star. The bad news is the reserves are still dropping, but at slower rate; although the Malaysian Ringgit continue to dive until 4.19 against the US Dollar before gaining back and close at 4.17 for the weekends.

The slower rate of the reserves drop would most likely because there is no longer intervention by the Bank Negara against the Malaysian Ringgit devaluation towards the week. The sentiment and confidence towards the Malaysian Ringgit remain weak although I believe that the assets and equities sell off  by foreign investor begin to slow down as well. So, maybe time for the Malaysian Ringgit to consolidate?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Malaysia leads regional decline

There is no sign of slowing down as the FBM KLCI continued to fall with weakening Ringgit against the USD. 

As of 5pm today, the FBM KLCI closed at  1,654.37 as stocks like Tenaga Nasional Bhd, SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd and other energy counters lead the declined. The ringgit depreciated to 3.9365 against the US dollar after weakening to a fresh level at 3.9420 earlier.

To put into perspective, the Malaysian stocks fell to their lowest in more than two years. 

With the weakening Ringgit and the announcement of the decline in the Malaysia's international reserves, that fell below the US$100 billion threshold, at US$96.7 billion as at July 31 this year, according to Bank Negara Malaysia's statement last Friday (Aug 7). This compared to US$100.5 billion on July 15. The Malaysia's political scene is not encouraging as well with the recent Cabinet reshuffle. Such political sentiment and other global factors have not augured well for the ringgit. The global factors that contribute to the decline in Ringgit includes the lower crude oil prices and anticipation of US interest rate hikes this year.

The Kuala Lumpur composite index shed 1.68 percent to 1,654.37, its lowest close since March 2013, as the ringgit hit its weakest since September 1998. The Indonesian index fell 0.5 percent as foreign investors sold a net 114.4 billion rupiah ($8.44 million) worth of shares, a fifth straight day of sales. Coal miners such as Indo Tambangraya and Adaro Energy were among the decliners. The Philippine index erased most early gains, ending nearly flat amid foreign-led selling in energy shares with First Gen Corp hitting a three-week low. Bangkok's SET index eased 0.6 percent in the final week of the quarterly reporting season. Shares of Thai Airways International Pcl fell 0.8 percent ahead of its earnings results due on Tuesday. Bucking the trend, Vietnam's benchmark VN Index closed 1.78 percent higher, its biggest jump since July 22, led by Vinamilk and BaoViet Holdings. Singapore market was closed for National Day holidays.

image captured from Bursa Malaysia

According to some analyst, it's expected to see some rebound in the Malaysia market with such a steep drop in the market. What say you?

Friday, August 7, 2015

BNM International Reserves shrunk below US$100 billion

The Ringgit weakened against the USD and this trend seems to continue and show no sign of slowing down.

USD against MYR currency
A quick search on google will show you this and it's scary because the spike doesn't seem to slow down and there's no sign of it any time soon. 

And to make matters worse, the BNM International Reserve as of July 2015 has shrunk below US$100 billion. 

BNM International Reserves shrunk below US$100 billion
To put into perspective, this is the first time that the reserve has fall below this level since August 2010. 

The central bank gave a statement today and said the reserves' position is sufficient to finance 7.6 months of retained imports and is 1.1 times the short-term external debt. 

The concern on the Ringgit currency is real as it has depreciated for 8 consecutive days. 

The local currency slipped further today to 3.9265 against the US dollar — the lowest level in 17 years — compared with Thursday's closing of 3.9125.