Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)

Bank Negara’s international reserves amounted to RM412.3 billion (equivalent to US$96.1 billion) as at March 15. It said yesterday that the reserves position was sufficient to finance 8.4 months of retained imports and was 1.2 times the short-term external debt.

The main components of the international reserves were foreign currency (US$88.3 billion); International Monetary Fund reserves position (US$0.8 billion); special drawing rights (SDRs) (US$1.1 billion); gold (US$1.2 billion); and, other reserves (US$4.7 billion). Its total assets stood at RM439.156 billion.

MIDF Research notes that Bank Negara’s international reserves (in USD) has been in an uptrend since October 2015. The international reserves rebounded from the lowest level in 8 years at $93.34 billion in the previous month.

The increase has been marginal at best, as most of the decline in the international reserves value were due to the depreciation of assets value, depreciation of non-US currency and portfolio capital outflow as an effect of US planning to tighten its monetary policy, which began with the quantitative easing tapering process.

“We opine that Malaysia’s external reserves are ample to facilitate international transactions and meets short and medium term obligations,” it says.