(Adds comments from second finance minister)
KUALA LUMPUR Jan 12 Malaysian companies are
likely to raise 90-105 billion ringgit ($20.2-$23.5 billion) of
capital in 2017, roughly in line with last year, the head of the
Securities Commission forecast on Thursday.
Malaysian firms raised close to 100 billion ringgit in 2016,
of which about 87 billion was through corporate bond issuances
and initial public offerings (IPOs), commision Chairman Ranjit
Ajit Singh said in a speech at an event.
Ranjit said a substantial portion of the financing in 2016
was through the conventional bond and sukuk markets.
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 currency market has also been volatile, prompting the
central bank to introduce measures to curb offshore trade of the
ringgit, which was one of Asia's worst performers in 2016.
Second finance minister Johari Abdul Ghani said on the
sidelines of the event that the government was sticking to its
forecast that the economy will grow by 4-5 percent in 2017, and
maintained that the currency will rebound.
"Any government in the world, if you have the currency come
down so drastically, (the government) needs to do some
adjustment on that," Johari told reporters.
"Nevertheless, because our policy is (maintaining) an open
economy, we are not going to do any pegging, we are not going to
control our capital flows. If any investor wants to take their
money out, just take it."
He said investors will return once U.S. markets settle down
and the interest rate outlook is clearer.
"We need time, the market will come back, and the currency
will strengthen again," he said.
($1 = 4.4620 ringgit)
(Reporting by Liz Lee; writing by Praveen Menon; Editing by Kim