According to the Ministry of Finance, Malaysia’s bond market has recorded an accumulated net foreign inflows of RM18.3 billion in 2020.
Although Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) had cut the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) to a record low of 1.75 percent, there is a room for the central bank to act in terms of monetary policy.
“Central banks around the world cut their interest rates, and Malaysia is one of them. However, foreign funds’ net selling of RM24.6 billion was recorded in the equity market for 2020 and to put it into context, it (equity exit) happened to all the countries when they entered lockdown,” Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul said.
The country has experienced a significant foreign outflow which imposed a downward pressure on the currency market.
Speaking at the “Menang Bersama: Rebuilding Malaysia’s Economy Together” programme, Tengku Zafrul pointed out the government is aware of the challenges and highly competitive landscape as Covid-19 outbreak disrupted supply chains globally.
Malaysia has introduced various tax and investment incentives under the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) and Budget 2021 to ensure seamless facilitation of investors such as the establishment of the Project Acceleration and Coordination Unit and various online platforms such as the i-Incentive.
“Investors’ confidence in Malaysia can be seen in terms of the approved investments during the first nine months of 2020, which stood at RM110 billion, 40 percent of which was FDI. This was a result of the measures taken by the government,” he added.
These investments involved over 2,900 projects, with the creation of close to 65,000 jobs.
The Malaysian Investment Development Authority also has announced that there are 240 identified high-profile foreign investment projects with a combined potential investment value of nearly RM82 billion from various sectors.
“These projects are anticipated to materialise this year, with about RM48 billion worth of potential investments into the country currently being evaluated. These projects, once approved, are expected to be implemented within 2021 to 2022,” Tengku Zafrul concluded.