Global and domestic developments are affecting the volatility of Ringgit movement. Global developments would include the investor expectations relating to monetary policies of major central banks and the trends in crude oil and gas prices, where domestic factors include concerns about government linked entities and ratings related issues.
Ringgit has been underperforming against the strengthening US dollar, being Asia’s second worst performer YTD, behind Indonesia, where asian currencies tend to move together against the stronger USD. The pressure on MYR is largely driven by sentiments, rather than fundamentals. The analysts are expecting bad times for the country as well as the whole Asian region, at least until the second quarter is over. For countries under the emerging market space, it seems that only Eastern Europe where the growth has been picking up, but things arent looking that bright in the larger European space, with potential UK and Greece’s exit from Europe. Asia and latin america are both equally been under pressure due to weakening currencies and growth slow down, but on the positive side, most of the Asian countries are benefiting from lower oil price and less inflationary pressure. So yeay to other Asian countries but not Malaysia.
More bad news it seems with Fitch is said to be on track to downgrade the sovereign rating as short term view on Malaysia is not so positive, particularly on the debt ceiling and contingent liabilities. Their next review is due by end of July 2015 and until then, we just hope that the market has priced in the impact. As I talk to few fund managers, they’re currently staying away from our credit papers, due to the foreseeable risk of downgrade and MYR uncertainties.
While external developments are beyond the control of any open economy, every effort needs to be undertaken to bring about resolution to the domestic issues that confront our economy. Once these issues are resolved the performance of the currency is expected to be consistent with our sound economic fundamentals and growth prospects.