Second finance minister says this was unlike the forex trading losses under the watch of Mahathir. Finance Minister II Johari Abdul Ghani said the amount cited by PPBM chairman and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad reflected the decline in international reserves due to the outflows. He said the outflows were in turn due to concerns over weak global growth prospects, anticipation of monetary policy normalisation in the US and a sharp decline in global oil prices. During this period, capital outflows royal forex funds not only unique to Malaysia but also affected other emerging markets, including Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, India, China, South Korea and Taiwan.
He said these external factors had pushed foreign investors to liquidate their investments in Malaysian stock and bond markets. He said BNM had during this period provided dollar liquidity to foreign investors in exchange for the ringgit, which was different from the heavy speculative forex trading activities undertaken in the early 1990s when Mahathir was prime minister. Johari said the facts of the matter needed to be set right as Mahathir’s allegation in a recent online video posting had caused much consternation among the public. 6 billion lost was a much larger amount than what BNM was said to have lost in the forex trading under his rule. 2013 and 2015 which took place under Prime Minister Najib Razak’s leadership.
He said the current reserve management system by BNM had worked well, with financial markets being orderly and stable despite large capital outflows. Given our solid fundamentals, the decline in reserves during the period 2013-2015 had no material impact to the functioning of the Malaysian economy as well as the financial position of the central bank. Johari also said international reserves remained a crucial buffer against external shocks and were essential in maintaining a stable operating environment in the domestic economy. Mahathir, 92, today filed a suit to declare the report by the RCI on BNM’s forex trading losses, which concluded earlier this month, as null and void as it excluded legal documents of witnesses and notes of proceedings. Comments Readers are required to have a valid Facebook account to comment on this story. We welcome your opinions to allow a healthy debate. We want our readers to be responsible while commenting and to consider how their views could be received by others.
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