KUALA LUMPUR Jan 13 Malaysia's central bank
said on Friday it may adopt additional measures to deal with
volatility in foreign exchange markets if necessary, as the
ringgit currency hovered near 19-year lows.
Malaysia as a net exporter needs to take "prudent steps" to
deal with continued global uncertainty and external pressure on
the ringgit currency, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor
Muhammad Ibrahim said, without elaborating on what such steps
"Given the openness of our market, we will always be exposed
to uncertainties in global economic developments and
geopolitical tensions," he said in his speech at an event.
Last November, BNM began trying to force currency traders
overseas to stop driving the ringgit lower and demanded that
banks sign a commitment to cease trading the ringgit on the
offshore non-deliverable forwards (NDF) market.
It also said it would implement several measures to boost
onshore ringgit trade.
Muhammad said on Friday that the central bank's intervention
has helped mitigate the "disruptive influence" of offshore
ringgit specuation, improve imbalances in the domestic foreign
exchange market and reduce ringgit volatility.
The governor added that its decision to compel Malaysian
exporters to convert 75 percent of export proceeds into ringgit
will "bring the ringgit value closer to its underlying economic
Muhammad said the current ringgit level does not reflect the
fundamentals of the economy.
Malaysia has been hard hit by capital outflows from emerging
markets as investors expect U.S. interest rates to rise faster
under a Trump administration.
The ringgit has lost more than 16 percent of its value over
the past nine months, hitting a 19-year-low of 4.4980 per U.S.
dollar on Jan. 4.
(Reporting by Joseph Sipalan; Editing by Kim Coghill)