Crude’s plunge has put the foreign reserves of two Asian neighbors on very different paths. The assets held by Malaysia, the region’s only major net oil exporter, have plunged while Thailand’s have stabilized the past year after waning earlier.
Malaysia’s international reserves were $95.1 billion as of Jan. 15, a decline of almost 30 percent from the start of 2014, while Thailand’s were $158 billion, down 5 percent. The chart also shows that the trajectory of Malaysia’s reserves has been similar, though less acute, to that of the price of oil, which has plunged by more than two thirds in the period.
The Malaysian ringgit has been Asia’s worst-performing currency against the dollar since the beginning of 2014 among the 12 tracked by Bloomberg, down 24 percent, or about triple the decline of the Thai baht.