Foreign Currency

Malaysia’s end-February official reserve assets at US$114.28 bil

KUALA LUMPUR (March 29): Malaysia’s official reserve assets amounted to US$114.28 billion (approximately RM540.54 billion) as at end-February 2024, while other foreign currency assets stood at US$202.69 million (approximately RM958.72 million), according to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

The central bank said that the detailed breakdown of international reserves provides forward-looking information on the size, composition and usability of reserves and other foreign currency assets, in accordance with the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) format.

It also provides guidance on the expected and potential future inflows and outflows of foreign exchange of the federal government and BNM over the next 12-month period.

“Overall, the detailed breakdown of international reserves under the IMF SDDS format indicated that as at end-February 2024, Malaysia’s international reserves remained usable,” it said in a statement on Friday.

BNM said that for the next 12 months, the pre-determined short-term outflows of foreign currency loans, securities and deposits, which include, among others, scheduled repayment of external borrowings by the government and the maturity of foreign currency Bank Negara Interbank Bills, amounted to US$16.33 billion (approximately RM77.24 billion).

“The net short forward positions amounted to US$22.59 billion (approximately RM106.85 billion) as at end-February 2024, reflecting the management of ringgit liquidity in the money market,” it said.

BNM said that in line with the practice adopted since April 2006, the data excludes projected foreign currency inflows arising from interest income and the drawdown of project loans.

It added that foreign currency inflows are projected to amount to US$2.46 billion (approximately RM11.64 billion) in the next 12 months.

BNM noted that the only contingent short-term net drain on foreign currency assets is government guarantees of foreign currency debt due within one year, amounting to US$400.9 million (approximately RM1.896 billion).

“There are no foreign currency loans with embedded options, no undrawn, unconditional credit lines provided by or to other central banks, international organisations, banks, and other financial institutions.

“BNM also does not engage in foreign currency options vis-à-vis [the] ringgit,” it added.

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