Norway Fund pullout won't have significant impact on Malaysia, says Bank Negara chief

Bank Negara Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus speaking during a presentation in Kuala Lumpur November 16, 2018. — Picture by Razak Ghazali
Bank Negara Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus speaking during a presentation in Kuala Lumpur November 16, 2018. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund’s decision to drop emerging market bonds from the benchmark index it tracks will not have a significant impact on Malaysia, says Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus.

She said the impact would not be significant to Malaysia as the country has a big pool of domestic institutional investors.

“If you look at the annual report and all that, we have shown that even (if) there were periods of significant outflows, our bond yields did not move as much as what other countries might experience when they suffered the same kind of outflows.

“That is because we have a strong pool of domestic institutional investors,” she told a press conference after announcing Malaysia's first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) performance here, today.

Nor Shamsiah said despite the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund's decision, Malaysia bond yield had sustained at the same level as at the beginning of this year.

“Bond yields did increase due to the outflow but recently, it had declined again to the level that we saw at the beginning of the year.

“This is the feature of the bond market, it would have inflows and outflows. More importantly, we are here to ensure any flows and any movement on the ringgit exchange rate is orderly and do not disrupt financial market or economic activities,” she added.

Earlier during her presentation, the governor said that the outflows in April amounted to RM7.1 billion, resulting from a number of external developments being at the forefront and the announcement by the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund, among others.

“This is a normal feature of investing in financial assets. There are investors that are taking the shorter-term position, and the rest that takes a longer-term position,” she said. — Bernama

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