KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani clarified today that Malaysia’s reserves have maintained stability throughout the ringgit depreciation recently and had not fallen as reported in a previous article.
Referring to a Bernama report published in Malay Mail Online two days ago, Johari said that while the ringgit recorded a slump partly due to the speculative activities in the offshore market, it did not lead to a material decline in Malaysia’s foreign exchange reserves.
“To the contrary, Malaysia’s foreign reserves has been fairly stable throughout 2016 at around US$97 billion.
“I wish to confirm that more recently, the reserves has actually increased to US$98.3 billion (as at November 15, 2016) from US$97.8 billion recorded as at October 31, 2016,” he said in a statement.
“In view of the above facts, the reserves could not possibly have fallen ‘from US$170 billion to US$97 billion due to investors leaving Malaysia’ as reported in the aforesaid article,” he added.
In the report published, Bernama quoted Johari as saying that the ringgit was under pressure, causing depreciation and the fall of reserves from from US$170 billion to US$97 billion now as investors leave.
He was reported having said it during his speech at the “Women Power Talk, Effective Networking the Way Forward” programme.
Johari said that the level of reserves are continuously supported by sustained current account surpluses and inflows of Foreign Direct Investments which provided buffer against volatility experienced in the financial markets.
“I wish to also clarify that Malaysia’s highest recorded reserves level was US$141.4 billion (recorded in May 2013) and not US$170 billion as reported in the said article,” he said.