Agenda Daily

PM assures that Ringgit will be more stable this year

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has expressed confidence that the measures taken by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will help make the ringgit more stable this year.

He said the decline in the ringgit's position is a source of concern for many, but the situation is outside the government's control.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said of 149 world currencies, 123 faced a decline in value against the US dollar and Malaysia was not exempted, nor the only country impacted.

He said three uncontrollable factors influence the ringgit's value, namely "excessive speculation in the offshore market", the fall in oil prices and a rise in US interest rates last Dec.

"With the measures taken by BNM, the market is convinced that the ringgit will be more stable and volatility curtailed to normal levels in the near term," he told the first monthly gathering of the Prime Minister's Department for 2017 here today.

Najib also said there are signs of optimism and confidence that the Malaysian economy would recover positively this year after being faced with global challenges in 2016. "Among the challenges was oil prices, which are now at US$54 a barrel, compared to US$44 last year.

"The price of palm oil is (now) also at an encouraging level - RM3,200 a tonne compared to RM2,600 last year, while rubber prices have also tripled. All this gives us the confidence that if we undertake vigorous initiatives, 2017 can be a successful year," he added.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Othman Aziz was reported previously as agreeing with an analysis that the ringgit would recover to a fair value of 4.1 against the US dollar in the third quarter of 2017.-9/1/2017

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