For the second time this year, Malaysia’s short-term political risk rating has been downgraded. Tumbled energy prices continue indeed to negatively impact the economy – as oil & gas account for more than 10% of total exports – and foreign exchange reserves. Economic growth moderation is forecast to continue in 2016 (falling to 4.5% from 6% in 2014) on the back of continued low hydrocarbon prices and weaker Chinese demand. Poorer export data, capital outflows and central bank interventions to defend the Malaysian ringgit (MYR) have harmed Malaysia’s external liquidity. Foreign exchange reserves have indeed been curtailed by about 20% this year whereas external short-term debt remains heavy. Besides, the negative trend is exacerbated by a political crisis whereby Prime Minister Razak is embroiled via a financial scandal. That affects investor confidence and fuels the MYR depreciation which amounts to around 18% in 2015, i.e. the second sharpest drop among Asian currencies.
08 Jan 2020
Malaysia: MLT political risk rating upgraded to 2/7 thanks to improved political and financial situation
Political stability strengthened since the electoral shock of 2018
COUNTRIES : Maleisië