Bank Negara Malaysia is having none of it. They are tired of people blaming them (too much) for the generally weak residential property market in the country. In its 1Q17 Quarterly Statistical Bulletin, BNM wrote housing loan approval rate over the past few years had not fallen, citing statistics that 74.2% of all applications were […]

Bank Negara Malaysia does not publish the minutes to its Monetary Policy Committee meetings, unlike the Federal Reserve in the United States. This keeps the rationale behind rate-setting decisions murky to outsiders sometimes. A few economists in the past several years have bugged the governor on the matter. Acquaintance Jason Fong from RAM Ratings yesterday asked Zeti whether BNM […]

I am unsure what to think about the recent move by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to tighten lending on the non-bank side of the lending system. While the statistics in that sector is scary when compared to the banks, the non-bank sector does provide financial services to the low-income earners. The financial services provided here […]

Since the Monetary Policy Committee will be meeting next week, it is only natural to talk about the Overnight Policy Rate. It currently stands at 3.00% and it is likely to stay like that after the MPC meet. I personally (and professionally!) am betting a cut only in March as I think while inflationary pressure […]

The importance of central bank independence has a lot to do with inflationary concerns. By independence, it typically means independence from political pressure. That entails strict separation between the central bank and the government. The central bank is not answerable to the government in general and the government does not represent the central bank. These […]

Background: Rivals CIMB and Maybank are racing against each other to merge (takeover?) with RHB. It is a high-stake game. The winner will have a significantly increased regional profile. At the same time, a current shareholder of RHB, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) is selling its stake to its sister’s company Aabar Investments. Both the ADCB and […]

Over at the website of Bank Negara Malaysia — the central bank of Malaysia — there is an inconspicuous survey. The survey begins as it should: it informs readers of the purpose of the survey. The purpose is quite simple: to gauge public’s opinion on some possible changes to the Malaysian coins. A redesigned coin […]

Do we need a rate cut following the September 18 footstep of the Federal Reserve to properly manage the Malaysian economy from the monetary side of the equation? The answer is possibly no. While the US is the largest trading partner for Malaysia, the state of the US economy is not the only factors that […]

In the US, a lot of people pay a lot of attention to what the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has to say. In Malaysia, I do not feel that atmosphere whatever the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) convenes. Partly because of that, the Malaysian economic scene is so boring compared to the US. The local […]

An article in the Business Times today states that inflationary pressure has subsided: INFLATIONARY pressures in Malaysia, which have abated since oil prices settled, are expected to subside further this year, say economists. The economy is unlikely to experience strong cost-push inflationary pressures like that felt by consumers last year when pump prices were hiked […]

Next »