BNM keeps OPR unchanged at 3.25%

BNM keeps OPR unchanged at 3.25%

KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — Bank Negara Malaysia has decided to maintain the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) at 3.25% as it remains accommodative and supportive of economic activity.

Overall domestic financial conditions remained relatively stable since the previous Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, said Bank Negara Malaysia in a statement.

The financial system continues to be sound with financial institutions operating with sufficient liquidity buffers while the growth of financing to the private sector also remained healthy.

The OPR was last raised by 25 basis points on July 10, 2014.

“Bank Negara Malaysia’s monetary operations continue to ensure that there is sufficient liquidity to support the orderly functioning of the money and foreign exchange markets,” it said after the second MPC meeting for the year.

The next MPC meeting will be held in May.

However, the MPC recognised heightened risks in the global economic and financial environment and was closely monitoring and assessing their implications on domestic price stability and growth.

“This is to ensure that the monetary policy stance is consistent with sustainable growth of the Malaysian economy,” the central bank said.

The BNM added that the country’s economy was set to grow at a moderate pace in 2016 after registering five per cent growth last year with domestic demand remaining the key driver.

It also said inflation was expected to be higher this year compared with 2015, given the adjustment in administered prices and the ringgit’s weaker exchange rate.

The impact of the cost factor is, however, expected to be mitigated by the continued low energy and commodity prices and the generally subdued global inflation.

“Consequently, the inflation momentum is expected to be slower than earlier anticipated,” it added.

— BERNAMA

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