Malaysia has addressed many issues, risks
KUALA LUMPUR: There is no reason to believe that Malaysia has seen the formation of an asset bubble that is about to burst, as the country has addressed many of the issues and risks related to it, says Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
She said three series of macro prudential measures had been introduced this year to avoid the very risk of the formation of such a bubble asset.
She was responding to a question on whether Malaysia was experiencing an asset bubble that would burst if China’s economy tumbled and as global interest rates rose, as reported recently by the foreign media.
“Conditions between now and in 1997/1998 are different. We are now on a growth path,” she told a press conference in conjunction with the South East Asian Central Banks (Seacen) 30th Anniversary Conference on Greater Financial Integration and Financial Stability and launch of the Seacen Financial Stability Journal.
Zeti said domestic demand was driving Malaysia’s economic growth and the country was not at the epicentre of the recent global financial crisis.
“Our financial intermediaries remain resilient and the supply of credit was never disrupted,” she added.
She said financial intermediation was continuing and financial markets continued to function.
“There is confidence in the financial system. This is the result of the focus over the last decade on financial reforms that have strengthened the foundation of our financial system.
“We believe that credit growth has moderated to a sustainable pace that supports the growth of the economy. In this regard, we continue to monitor conditions,” Zeti added.
Meanwhile, in her opening address at the conference, Zeti said the modernisation of the Asian financial system had been accompanied by a significant strengthening of the regulatory and supervisory frameworks.
She said it had also been accompanied by improved financial safety nets, a more effective surveillance of financial stability risks and stronger legal underpinnings.
“These reforms supported the transition towards more market-oriented financial systems that are anchored in stronger institutions, risk management capacity and governance,” she added.
“Our financial institutions are supported by stronger financial buffers to withstand adverse developments and shocks.
“Significant strides also continue to be made in strengthening consumer protection frameworks, promoting financial inclusion, and enhancing market discipline,” she said.
She also said these developments continued to support the region through the recent episodes of turbulence in the global financial markets.
“The region has also made important strides in enhancing monetary and financial cooperation arrangements to address regional financial stability issues and global policy spillovers.
“Much has been accomplished in the areas of surveillance arrangements, financial safety nets and crisis prevention, management and resolution,” she added.
On the Asian financial integration model for the ten Asean economies, Zeti said it was focused on strengthening pre-conditions through collective capacity building to promote more open market access.
“It also focuses on progressively reducing barriers to facilitate cross-border trade, developing the market infrastructure and an enabling environment to promote the efficient and effective intermediation of cross-border financial flows.
“It also focuses on establishing appropriate safeguards for the stability of the financial system,” she added.
Meanwhile, Bank Negara and the Bank of Korea jointly announced the establishment of a bilateral local currency swap arrangement. It is designed to promote the use of local currencies for bilateral trade and strengthen financial cooperation between Malaysia and South Korea, Bank Negara said in a statement.
This arrangement allows for the exchange of local currencies between the two central banks of up to five trillion Korean won or RM15bil.
The effective period of the arrangement is three years, and could be extended by mutual agreement between the central banks. – Bernama
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