“Malaysia adopts a floating exchange rate regime. The ringgit exchange rate is market-determined and is not relied upon for exports competitiveness,” the central bank said in a statement today, noting that it supports free and fair trade. Malaysia’s inclusion in the monitoring list comes after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin lowered the threshold for qualification. This, however, comes with no immediate penalties. Under the new threshold, countries with a current account surplus equivalent to 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) are now eligible for inclusion in the list, down from 3%. The other two criteria are persistent intervention in markets for a nation’s currency, and a trade surplus with the US of at least US$20 billion (RM83.8 billion). Countries that meet two of the three criteria are placed on the watch list. Malaysia meets two of the three criteria – it has a trade surplus of US$27 billion with the US and a material current account surplus equivalent to 2.1% of GDP. It is among the nine countries in the monitoring list, alongside China, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam. On the US Treasury Department’s claim that BNM has intervened in both directions in foreign exchange markets… Read full this story
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