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Malaysia is no currency manipulator, finance minister says

Kamis, 31 Oktober 2019 / 18:34 WIB
Malaysia is no currency manipulator, finance minister says
ILUSTRASI. Ilustrasi Malaysia

Sumber: Reuters | Editor: Herlina Kartika

KONTAN.CO.ID - KUALA LUMPUR. Malaysia's finance minister said on Thursday the country would not be labelled a currency manipulator when the U.S. Treasury Department releases the second of its bi-annual report on foreign exchange policies of U.S. trading partners.

Southeast Asia's third biggest economy was for the first time put on the Treasury's "monitoring list" in May for meeting two of its three criteria: having a significant bilateral trade surplus with the United States, a substantial current account surplus and persistent one-sided intervention in forex markets.

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Malaysia was found meeting the first two conditions, but Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told lawmakers in parliament the country did not deliberately devalue the ringgit.

"I would like to guarantee that we will ensure Malaysia will only be on the watchlist, and if possible be removed from the list," he said to a question on the impending report.

Once the U.S. Treasury puts a country on the watchlist it keeps in there for two consecutive reports to scrutinise its trade and currency-related practices.

The ringgit firmed marginally on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates for a third time this year, but it has weakened by about 1% against the dollar in the year-to-date.