Malaysia: International Reserves - USD 136 bilion at end-2014

Alliance Research has maintained its end-2014 target of Bank Negara Malaysia's international reserves at $136 billion (RM448.7 billion) on renewed confidence in the country's economy.

Economist Manokaran Mottain said the total market capitalisation of Bursa Malaysia had rebounded slightly to RM1.66 trillion on February 14 versus RM1.64 trillion on January 30, suggesting the outflow of short-term capital could have eased over the past two weeks.

"This could be due to confidence gained in the economy, following the stronger-than-expected fourth quarter gross domestic product growth of 5.1% and widening current account surplus of RM16.2 billion," he said in a note.
Manokaran said this is further supported by an improvement in the local currency, which appreciated from RM3.3464 per US dollar on January 30 to RM3.2912 on February 14.

"Despite the outflow from reserves, our estimate for the excess liquidity in the banking system suggests a marginal increase to RM265.4 billion, from RM262.9 billion two weeks ago," he added.

On February 21, the central bank released a statement saying international reserves amounted to $132.3 billion as at February 14, sufficient to finance 9.2 months of retained imports and is 3.4 times the short-term external debt.
Bernama: 24-02-2014

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