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Net financing growth continues to support economic activity, says BNM
Last update: 30/03/2018

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 (Bernama) -- Net financing through banking system loans and corporate bonds showed a growth of†7.4 per cent last month†compared with 7.2 per cent in January, says Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

In its Monthly Highlights February 2018 released today, the central bank said the growth of outstanding loans of the banking system rose†to 4.5 per cent in February from 4.2 per cent the previous month, while net outstanding issuances of corporate bonds continued to expand at 16.4 per cent against January's†16.6 per cent.

It said the increase in loan growth was due mainly to household loans, which climbed by 5.6 per cent in February compared with†5.3 per cent in January, driven by loans for the purpose of residential property, securities, and personal financing.

On headline inflation, BNM said it declined to 1.4 per cent last month†from 2.7 per cent in January.

Inflation in the transport category was -0.3 per cent compared with 5.7 per cent the†previous month, due to lower domestic fuel prices during the month.

In the food and non-alcoholic beverages category, inflation†was at 3.0 per cent for February versus 3.8 per cent in January.

"This reflected lower prices of some fresh food items following the festive season price control scheme during the Chinese New Year period, and better weather conditions thereafter," the bank said.

On the Index of Wholesale & Retail Trade, BNM said the index†recorded a†higher growth of 7.4 per cent in January compared with 5.9 per cent in December 2017, driven by improvements across all segments.

Meanwhile, the central bank said that in February, domestic financial markets were affected by the spike in global financial market volatility†following the sharp correction in the United States equity market.

"The ringgit depreciated by 0.8 per cent against the US dollar, due mainly by net portfolio outflows," it said, adding that foreign exchange†swap volume decreased by US$9.2 billion ((US$1=RM3.8590)†to US$102.9 billion, due mainly to a drop†in interbank swap activity.

On banks' funding structure, BNM said the loan-to-fund and the loan-to-fund-and-equity ratios stood at 83.5 per cent †and 72.9 per cent, respectively, reflecting banks' broader funding base.

"The banking system's liquidity coverage ratio stood at 133.8 per cent, well above the transitional minimum regulatory requirement of 90 per cent," it added.

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OPENING, WEDNESDAY, JULY 18
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100 Yen 3.5867/5939
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Euro 4.7238/7327
Source: Bank Negara Malaysia

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