central bank


Bank of Japan's balance sheet now larger than country's GDP

TOKYO, Nov 13 — Japan's central bank has become the first among G7 nations to own assets collectively worth more than the country's entire economy, following a half-decade spending spree designed to accelerate weak price growth. The 553.6 trillion…

Asian shares falter, US dollar at 16-month peak on Europe, Brexit woes

SYDNEY, Nov 13 — Asian shares stumbled today after a rout in tech stocks inflicted a hefty selloff on Wall Street, while the US dollar hit a 16-month peak on safe haven bets amid political risks in Europe and acrimonious Sino-US trade relations….

US not concerned by Europe's idea for Iran trade as companies moving out

LONDON, Nov 13 — The United States is not too concerned by Europe's idea for a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to get around US sanctions with Iran as companies are already withdrawing from the country in droves, the senior official for financial…

Russian state bank secretly financed Rosneft sale

MOSCOW/LONDON: It was billed as the deal that proved Russia remained open for business. “I want to congratulate you”, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his trusted ally Igor Sechin, after greeting him with a warm handshake in the Kremlin in December, 2016. Sechin had just announced the sale to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and giant […]

China calls for open world economy but work remains on landmark trade pact

SINGAPORE, Nov 12 — China will further open its economy in the face of rising protectionism, Premier Li Keqiang said as he arrived in Singapore today for meetings with Asia-Pacific leaders that will focus on speeding up work on a major new trade…

China says will further open up its economy, slams rising protectionism

SINGAPORE, Nov 12 — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said today Beijing will further open up its economy in the face of rising protectionism, as he headed for meetings with Asia-Pacific leaders in Singapore that are expected to focus on trade tensions….

Argentine recession seen bottoming out in first quarter, to recover from 2Q onwards — IMF

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina’s shrinking economy will bottom out in the first three months of next year and start to recover in the second quarter, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) official said. The fund last month upped the size of its standby financing deal with Argentina to US$56.3 billion after negotiating tougher fiscal measures that have already […]

Mixed views on 2019 outlook for OPR

PETALING JAYA: CGS-CIMB retained its end-2019 Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) forecast of 3.5%, implying one 25bp increase in the second half of 2019, supported by inflation dynamics for 2019.

“The implementation of more targeted subsidies, selected tax and levy hikes, and a higher minimum wage of RM1,100 per month as announced in Budget 2019, presents upside risk to our headline inflation outlook next year,” it said in a report.

“That said, the absence of strong demand pressures should contain the increase in core inflation, requiring minor, data-driven OPR adjustments rather than sharp upturn in the interest rate cycle, in our view,” it added.

Despite the downgraded assessment of gross domestic product (GDP) growth and external demand, it believes economic conditions still warrant a resumption of slow and measured monetary policy normalisation next year due to higher domestic inflation and continued US interest rate hikes.

It noted that the Federal Reserve remains on course to raise the Fed Funds Rate for a fourth time this year at 25bp to 2.25-2.5% on Dec 18-19, with another three hikes penciled in for 2019.

However, PublicInvest Research does not expect any changes in the OPR next year.

“We don’t see the need to intervene in the policy rate in the near future given Malaysia’s steady growth prospects.

Financial imbalance risks are also seen to be muted amid lack of forceful drivers in some asset classes.

“Although inflation is most likely to be higher year-on-year, this is due to a low base effect and the likely floating of domestic fuel prices without demand pressures. Therefore, we cautiously expect OPR to remain unchanged in 2019,” it said.

On Thursday, Bank Negara Malaysia at its final Monetary Policy Committee meeting of the year decided to maintain the OPR at 3.25% with no changes in the statutory reserve requirement rate either.

“We are of the view that the economy is on an even keel with no undue stress that could jolt its prospects although the intensification of trade frictions remain a concern and this will be observed closely,” said PublicInvest Research.

The central bank reiterated its view that the balance of risks has tilted to the downside due to the failure of multilateral talks to stop the trade collision while heightened volatility arising from the upcoming interest rate adjustments in matured economies is another source of risk which may cause financial duress.

PublicInvest Research noted that the policy rate at this stage is seen as accommodative and supportive of the economy, with no hint of intervention in the near future.

Argentine recession seen bottoming out in 1st quarter, says IMF

BUENOS AIRES, Nov 11 — Argentina’s shrinking economy will bottom out in the first three months of next year and start to recover in the second quarter, an International Monetary Fund official said yesterday. The fund last month upped the size of…

Slump in oil prices and China data weighs on global stocks

NEW YORK, Nov 10 — Stocks around the globe suffered their biggest drop in two weeks yesterday as weak Chinese economic data sapped demand for equities while oil prices weakened again. US stocks were broadly lower, with energy shares falling more…