KUALA LUMPUR – There is room for the ringgit to improve further from the current level, given the country’s strong underlying fundamentals including stable global crude oil prices, stronger gross domestic product and better export growth, said Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Wira Othman Aziz (pix).

He was confident that the ringgit would break the psychological level of 4.0, going into the first quarter of 2018.

On the foreign exchange market today, the ringgit was traded at 4.0740 against the US dollar, marginally higher from yesterday’s close of 4.0750.

“The ringgit is strengthening each day. The fair value should be better and hopefully towards the year-end and in the first quarter of 2018, we can see the local note performing better.

“However, external factors will also influence the ringgit’s movement. If everything remains constant, for example US interest rates, we should see a stronger inggit, going forward,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the third Annual Symposium on Islamic Finance here today.

Earlier in his keynote address, Othman said SDGs were consistent with the intended outcome of Shariah, which focused on the enhancement of the society’s well-being, through preservation of wealth, faith and intellect.

“In the context of Islamic finance businesses, preservation of wealth goes beyond its literal meaning, since it includes encouragement to generate, accumulate and distribute wealth in a fair manner.

“With this spirit, Bank Negara Malaysia has introduced the ‘Value-base Intermediation Strategy Paper’ to promote a more holistic observation of Syariah, beyond Syariah compliance and strengthen the roles and impact of Islamic banks towards a sustainable financial ecosystem,” he said.

Meanwhile, Othman urged stakeholders to strive and achieve the SGDs’ objective in order for Malaysia to strengthen its lead as an Islamic finance hub.

“The government, through its policies has provided an incentive structure for industry players to achieve these goals. On the other hand, industry players are also expected to work with full honesty without abusing the system in their favour,” he added.

— Bernama