RM8.2 BIL OF RESERVES WIPED OUT AS BANK NEGARA STRUGGLES TO CONTAIN RINGGIT SELLOFF

KUALA LUMPUR – Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) international reserves fell US$1.9bil to US$96.4bil as at Nov 30 from US$98.3bil two weeks earlier.

BNM said on Wednesday that in ringgit terms, the international reserves fell RM8.2bil during the period.

“The lower international reserves position reflected the liquidity support in the foreign exchange market.

“The reserves position as at Nov 30, 2016 is sufficient to finance 8.3 months of retained imports and is 1.2 times the short-term external debt.

StarBiz reported that all eyes were on the BNM’s international reserve data to determine how much has been used to defend the ringgit against the US dollar.

Dealers felt that the central bank could have used several billion US dollars to defend the ringgit, which has seen a steep depreciation against the greenback since the surprise election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States. The elections were held on Dec 8.

On Nov 10, the ringgit had weakened to 4.2575 at 4pm and declined to 4.3875 the next day.

At midday on Wednesday, the ringgit was at 4.4362.

– ANN

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