16/08/2022 11:58 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 (Bernama) -- The weakening ringgit, which has lost more than 6 per cent of its value against the US dollar so far this year, has been luring foreign investors back into the Malaysian property market, said real estate technology group Juwai IQI.

Co-founder and group chief executive officer Kashif Ansari said with the ringgit falling 13 per cent from its 2018 high against the greenback, foreign investors have benefited from exchange rate trends.

“According to data from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), foreign direct investment has been strong, and the country attracted RM27.8 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

“The manufacturing sector accounted for the majority of investment, which will increase capacity and allow Malaysia to capture additional market share,” he said in a statement today.

At the opening bell today, the local note had weakened to 4.4650/4670 against the US dollar from 4.1650/1680 at the close on Dec 31, 2021.

Noting that Malaysia is benefiting from the commodities boom, higher exports, strong foreign direct investment, and the recovery in domestic demand, Kashif expects inflation to peak this year at 3.2 per cent before falling to 2.8 per cent in 2023.

He noted that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has begun tightening the overnight policy rate in May this year and had since moved the rate up to 2.25 per cent from an accommodative rate of 1.75 per cent, and the country’s banks had moved in lockstep, pushing the base lending rate up to 5.9 per cent per annum.

“While these moves represent an increase from the extraordinarily low levels that prevailed for the past two years, interest rates remain historically low.

“We believe the economy and property market have enough momentum to absorb the increases in stride without falling into a downcycle,” he said, adding that the real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of Malaysia is expected to reach 5.7 per cent in 2022.


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