Malaysia Interest Rates Appropriate at This Time, Zeti Says

Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Malaysia’s central bank governor, comments on reserves and interest rates. She spoke to reporters in Kuala Lumpur today.

On interest rates:

“Our interest rates are at appropriate levels at this point in time, given the outlook for inflation and the outlook for growth.”

On comments by ex-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad that Malaysia’s reserves are too high at more than $100 billion:

“Our international reserves are subject to a high degree of volatility. We have seen it increase to much higher levels than this and then we have seen it reduced all the way to $80 billion.

“So in this period of high degree of uncertainties, we certainly want our reserves to remain too, as part of building our strength in having a high tolerance level to deal with the volatility around us.”

On the appropriate level for international reserves:

“There is no level appropriate but right now. We want to be in a position whereby we have a high level of tolerance to deal with this extreme volatility that is taking place around us.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Chong Pooi Koon in Kuala Lumpur at pchong17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Barry Porter in Kuala Lumpur at bporter10@bloomberg.net;

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