BNM international reserves lower at US$103.9b

A general view of the Bank Negara Malaysia headquarters in Kuala Lumpur June 30, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A general view of the Bank Negara Malaysia headquarters in Kuala Lumpur June 30, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) international reserves amounted to US$103.9 billion (RM430 billion) as at Sept 14 compared with US$104.4 billion as at Aug 30, 2018.

In a statement today, the central bank said the lower reserves largely reflected the portfolio outflows experienced in the region.

“The reserves position is sufficient to finance 8.1 months of retained imports and is 0.9 times the short-term external debt,” it said.

BNM added that the short-term external debt was mostly accounted by banking institutions (69.4 per cent of short-term external debt), reflecting the centralisation of liquidity management of Malaysian banks operating in the region and the sizeable presence of foreign banks in Malaysia.

“These institutions hold substantial external assets (RM293 billion), which can be drawn upon to meet their external obligations without creating a claim on BNM’s international reserves,” it said.

The main components of the international reserves comprise foreign currency reserves at US$97.8 billion, International Monetary Fund reserves position (US$900 million), Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) (US$1.1 billion), gold (US$1.6 billion), and other reserve assets (US$2.5 billion).

BNM said assets include gold and foreign exchange, and other reserves, including SDRs (RM420.38 billion), Malaysian government papers (RM4.34 billion), deposits with financial institutions (RM568.56 million), loans and advances (RM7.1 billion), land and buildings (RM4.17 billion), and other assets (RM7.8 billion). — Bernama

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