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Foreign Portfolio went negative in August – UOB



UOB Group’s Senior Economist Julia Goh and Economist Loke Siew Ting assess the latest monthly foreign portfolio figures in Malaysia.

Key Takeaways

Malaysia recorded foreign portfolio outflows for the first time this year in Aug, totaling MYR4.9bn (Jul: +MYR12.7bn). This was purely attributed to the largest foreign selling of Malaysian debt securities in 10 months at MYR5.0bn (Jul: +MYR11.3bn) as Malaysia’s equity market continued to draw non-resident purchases for the second straight month at MYR0.1bn (Jul: +MYR1.4bn).

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)’s foreign reserves reduced by USD0.4bn m/m to USD112.5bn as at end-Aug (end-Jul: +USD1.5bn m/m to USD112.9bn). The latest reserves position is sufficient to finance 5.2 months of imports of goods & services and is 1.0 times the total short-term external debt. BNM’s net short position in FX swaps widened for a third consecutive month by USD0.2bn m/m to USD24.3bn as at end-Jul (end-Jun: +USD0.4bn m/m to USD24.1bn). 

Renewed uncertainties surrounding China’s economic recovery pace, global crude oil and essential food supply, policy rate trajectory, as well as geopolitical tensions have heightened volatility in the global financial and capital markets. Malaysia was not spared from these turbulences, with investors expected to take a more cautious stance and remain selective in positioning in the near term. Country-specific factors particularly government policy and medium-term plans will then play a key role in investors’ asset allocation considerations.


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