Posts Tagged ‘New Economic Model’

MALAYSIAN RINGGIT…… the best performing Asian currency

The “ringgit” is the official currency in Malaysia which is often known as the Malaysian dollar. The Malaysian dollar or ringgit is sub divided in to 100 sens, which are known as cents in foreign markets.

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Performance

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The Ringgit Malaysia (RM) is one of Asia’s best performing currencies in 2010 which has appreciated by 6% against the US dollar, 19% against the euro and 16% against the British pound. There were several factors which contributed to the stellar performance of the ringgit. Amongst them include Malaysia’s better than expected economic recovery, the central bank’s monetary tightening policies, the New Economic Model (NEM), speculation on revaluation of China’s yuan coupled with speculative funds inflow into Malaysia’s financial system. The currency’s strength isn’t likely to affect exporters as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis may increase capital flows to Asia & inter-Asia trade is expected to keep Malaysia’s exports at healthy growth levels. Malaysia’s exports to Europe make up some 10 per cent of its total exports.

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The Pros And Cons Of Stronger Ringgit …

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Pros:

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·Encourages the import of capital goods, which contribute to the innovation and automation of industries in the country.

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·Improves the living standards of the people by increasing their purchasing power through cheaper imports and lower inflationary pressure.

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Cons:

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·A stronger ringgit could pose challenges to the exporters of this export dependent export-dependent Malaysia such as palm oil companies.

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·The stronger ringgit usually trims the refiner margins as crude palm oil feedstock for refined products is priced in the currency. Any wild swings in the ringgit hurt refiners. “For every 100 basis points’ appreciation in the ringgit, refining margins fall by US$2-US$4 a tonne.

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·“For example, if the ringgit keeps strengthening, where previously you would collect 3.2 for every US dollar you earn, now you get only 3.1,”

Impact On Palm Oil Industry

Palm’s advance is also limited by the firmer ringgit, which has become a key determinant in price direction of late. In other words, CPO price could not be separated from the economics of converting crude palm oil, priced in ringgit, into dollar-based refined palm oil products.

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The benchmark August futures on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange are again moving in a range searching for direction from here. Immediate support is at 2,395-2,400 (Malaysian ringgit) MYR/tonne while resistance is at 2,520 MYR/tonne followed by 2,550 MYR/tonne on the upside.

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Ringgit gain from revaluation of Yuan?

A higher yuan could actually spell good times for the Asian currencies. In other words, Ringgit would further increase as Chinese Yuan is expected to increase and ringgit typically increases with the appreciation of Yuan. China, including Hong Kong, is Malaysia’s biggest export market. A stronger yuan will be a bigger strength for China – more buying power for Malaysian goods, which would help boost shipments.

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Nonetheless, the ringgit’s upside might be somewhat limited. Malaysia being an export-oriented economy, the central bank might intervene to limit gains in the ringgit to ensure Malaysia’s exports remain competitive.