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Malaysia’s interest rates at an appropriate level

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s interest rates are supportive of the country's economic recovery and remain at an appropriate level, Bank Negara Malaysia Governor, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said on Oct 19.

She said any decision on the rates would only be announced after another Monetary Policy Meeting later this month.

“We see the interest rates now as supporting borrowings and it has not been a constraint to it. The factor affecting borrowing is actually the demand conditions, both external and domestic," she explained.

She was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the ADB-BNM-EC Joint Conference themed, "Beyond The Global Crisis: A New Asian Growth Model?", here.

Zeti also said that the private sector would be the main driver of growth in the country once the government stimulus is gradually withdrawn.

Asked if the ringgit should not be allowed to appreciate too much as economic growth could be affected, she said the current level of the currency actually reflected the country’s economic fundamentals.

"I want to emphasise that our export sector has been resilient despite the appreciation of the ringgit," she said.

She said the ringgit's exchange rate had previously appreciated by much more than the current level, touching even 3.13 in 2008.

The ringgit depreciated against the US dollar at its opening on the morning of Oct 19 to 3.3850/3890 from 3.3690/3730 on Oct 16. – Bernama

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