Foreign Funds Boost Holdings of Malaysian Ringgit Debt to Record

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Foreign funds boosted holdings of Malaysian local-currency debt by 7.8 percent in September from a month earlier to a record 216 billion ringgit ($71 billion), according to data published on the central bank’s website today.

The value of ringgit-denominated bonds held by overseas investors rose 29 percent from the same month in 2011 and surpassed the previous all-time high of 200 billion ringgit reached at the end of August, Bank Negara Malaysia said. It was the fourth monthly increase in a row.

Holdings of non-Islamic government securities increased 2.9 percent to 120 billion, while ownership of Shariah-compliant sovereign bonds climbed 7 percent to 1.7 billion ringgit. Short-term central bank bill and note holdings rose 16 percent to 79 billion ringgit, the figures show.

The ringgit appreciated 0.2 percent to 3.0473 per dollar as of 6:46 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency gained 4.1 percent this year, the fourth-best performer among Asia’s 11 most-used currencies.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elffie Chew in Kuala Lumpur at echew16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Regan at jregan19@bloomberg.net