Ringgit Expected To Rebound In Second Half, Driven By Positive GDP Growth

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 – The ringgitis expected to rebound in the second half of the year, after a six monthsconsolidation period, driven by positive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, said Maybank Investment Bank Bhd. The ringgitwas forecast to end the year at RM3.45 against the US dollar compared with its current level of RM3.50 per US dollar.

Director and Head of Retail Equities, Malaysia, Lim Chee Kiongsaid the ringgitwould consolidate in the first half due to the current weak global economic trend and with the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the second quarter. “There will always be a rebound.

When the GDP numbers turn out in a nice way, the ringgitshould find some stability and visibility in the second half,” he said, adding that the country was projected to achieve five per cent GDP growth this year. Speaking to reporters here today after presenting a speech at a seminar on the market outlook for the first half, organisedby Maybank Investment, Lim said the ringgitwas expected to feel the impact of the GST which was expected to raise inflation and weaken domestic consumption.

“There is going to be a short ‘blip’ when GSThappens. It (impact) will be very short-term and after a while, when people get used to it (GST), the ringgitwill stabiliseand come back up,” he added. About 350 participants, comprising retail investors, attended the one-day seminar which was aimed at educating and equipping Maybank Investment clients with the right knowledge for investing, going forward.

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