World Economy

Malaysia Readies for Trading

Malaysia Readies for TradingMalaysia Readies for Trading

Malaysia’s new government is girding for a volatile start to trading on Monday when local currency, debt and equity markets open for the first time since the stunning election defeat of the coalition that had ruled the country for six decades, Reuters reported. “We will watch the market and take necessary action whichever way the market goes,” Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said, after offshore investors expressed concern that his populist promises could undermine economic prospects. Mahathir’s alliance had pledged during the campaign to remove a goods and services tax, scrap toll fees, reinstate fuel subsidies and review Chinese investment deals. The ringgit lost 4% in offshore trading, while an overseas Malaysian equity fund showed a 6% drop in share values after the results were announced early on Thursday. The currency “may need to play catch up” on Monday, and fall in line with a 4% drop in three month non-deliverable forwards, while government bonds are likely to be under selling pressure, Frances Cheung Head of Macro Strategy, Asia at Westpac bank said by e-mail.

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