Friday, July 22, 2005


My hopes of the ringgit appreciating considerably against the greenback on its first day of trading after the peg was removed did not materialise due to the intervention by Bank Negara. The ringgit only appreciated by a modest 0.7% to record a high of RM3.775 per USD for the day before settling at RM3.778 per USD while economists worldwide were expecting it to appreciate to as high as RM3.50 per USD (hey, I guess my prediction was right!!!). Bursa Malaysia chalked up a 1.93% gain to reach a five-year high of 939.69 today and the PM immediately jumped to say it was indication that investors were supportive of the un-peg. For me, the intervention was totally wrong and the PM was uninformed on the real reasons behind the stock market rise. If intervention was necessary to stabilise the economy or whatever, there should have been more flexibility anyway. The ringgit should have been allowed to appreciate more. In my opinion, the rise in the Bursa Malaysia today was more due to speculators coming in, knowing the ringgit will definitely appreciate further, buys equities when the ringgit is still weak and later cash-in after the ringgit has appreciated and is much stronger, making a handsome profit in the process. Did Bank Negara make the right move in intervening? We shall see...

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