Reported in The Strait Times
MARCH 4 – The Malaysian ringgit could breach the psychological 3.80 to the greenback mark in the not too distant future, nudged by a deepening global recession and resultant flight to quality, plus a widening budget deficit.
Previously, few would have entertained the notion of the local unit tumbling back to 3.80 – the level at which it was fixed in 1998 during the Asian financial crisis before the peg was dismantled in 2005 – but it appears a distinct possibility now.
On the back of weakening exports and a growing budget shortfall, the ringgit climbed to within a 3.62/63 band a month ago.
Yesterday, it opened at 3.727/731 from Monday's close of 3.726/730. Full story here...
Read the one below:
Reduced corporate profits or losses would mean less income taxes going into government coffers, which among other things, would affect the government budget.New sources of funding would have to be found to finance the budget.Unless there is sudden upswing to the current gloomy global conditions the general economy will face serious contraction in the next few months which would affect the value of the ringgit.The ringgit may be traded at 3.80 to 4.00 range by 1st Quarter 2009 if no viable solution is found to stimulate growth. Read the full story here...
Read this one:
KUALA LUMPUR: The property market in Kuala Lumpur could depreciate as much as 10% to 15% going forward, while the prices of high-end condominiums in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) area may fall up to 30% in the next two to three months, said property consultant Rahim & Co. Full story here...
Now read this one:
Presently, there is notable forced sale and marginal decline in the prices of medium and lower scale properties in cities like Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru.If the economic crisis deepen the next few months and continues into the middle of 2009 the prices of properties for all sectors would take a tumble.Upscale properties would fall between 20 t0 40% mainly in big urban areas.Full story here...
The Straits Times was right only few had the notion how bad things can get when the domino hits us. I was one of the crazy prophets of doom that have had all my forecasts and predictions hitting bulls eye.
They are going to announce the second stimulus package on 10 March 2009.Will have to wait and see what kind of package they have in store to rescue the economy.
Anything less than RM30 billion (inclusive the RM7 billion) may not do a good job. The problem is the government do not have the money and would not get enough money from its normal sources of revenue to finance its main budget, let alone finance the stimulus package.Its budget deficit is expected to grow to unhealthy level if the stimulus package could not revive the economy by the 2nd half of 2009. The longer the delay to implement the stimulus package the longer the sickness would stay.The country may be looking at unpleasant negative growth.
Unpleasant, as it may be, the government needs to borrow to finance the budget and the stimulus package. It has a number of options that it can take for its deficit financing.
1.Issuance of Treasury Bonds for domestic and international markets.....unlikely. Response from the international financial community may not be strong enough, which can downgrade the credit rating of the nation.
2.Foreign borrowing in foreign currency..... unlikely.Can become very expensive in the long run.
3.Liquidation of government assets..... not efficient in a downturn and possible diminution in value of assets.
4.Borrow from pension funds and government-controlled trust funds......very likely.The most efficient, cheapest, easiest and quickest way to raise the funds. Most likely candidates would be EPF and savings in ASN and ASB.
When the government announces the stimulus package it would be imperative and responsible on the part of the Prime Minister to tell Malaysians where the money is coming from.
Should the government decides to use money from EPF, the Board of EPF should not agree to a term loan between EPF and the government but demand for the issuance of medium term bonds with reasonable rate of interest.A term loan can be renegotiated and the terms and conditions can be varied from time to time by the lender (EPF) which is controlled by the government but government bonds must be paid in full upon maturity.
EPF funds were already badly managed giving poor return for many years and investments in low-yield government bonds or low interest loans are going to worsen the earnings of the fund.