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Malaysia Interest Rates Appropriate at This Time, Zeti Says

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- 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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