A general view of the headquarters of Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, in Kbfx forex malaysia bank Lumpur January 29, 2013. The letters were sent by banks in Malaysia who hold bonds and other Malaysian assets as custodians for foreign banks. The form letters are addressed to Bank Negara Malaysia.
Two separate sources at banks confirmed getting the form letter, which Reuters reviewed. The letters also asks financial institutions to provide a detailed plan to the central bank if they need to make ringgit transactions onshore and to seek help from Malaysian financial institutions for any foreign exchange transaction needs. Bank Negara in a statement to Reuters on Wednesday confirmed it has made the request through banks in Malaysia. Foreign holdings account for 40 percent of the total outstanding bond market in Malaysia, one of the largest foreign ownerships in Asia. Foreigners have been fleeing the Malaysian market in a global bond rout following Donald Trump’s election as U.
President last week, which sent the dollar soaring and has hit emerging market currencies particularly hard. Trump is expected to adopt policies that are likely to increase interest rates faster than previously thought. Investors typically use the liquid NDF markets in Singapore and Hong Kong to exchange ringgit for dollars because of the many restrictions in the domestic market. 34 to the dollar at around 1100 GMT.
But in the offshore NDF markets late last week, the ringgit dropped to a 12-year low. The central bank’s move is not surprising, given how much the ringgit has lost recently, said Nordea Markets’ chief analyst Amy Yuan Zhuang in Singapore. It sounds like a desperate intervention. Bank Negara’s comparatively small foreign exchange reserves has left Bank Negara with fewer options, she said. It needs such measures more than other Asian central banks.