KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's overall foreign portfolio flows rose by RM7.7 billion in August 2021, which more than offset declines in two preceding months, marking the highest monthly net inflow since June 2020, according to UOB Malaysia's Global Economics and Markets Research.
Foreigners turned net buyers of domestic debt securities of RM6.6 billion and equities of RM1.1 billion in August, marking the first month of net buying of equities since June 2019, said UOB Malaysia senior economist Julia Goh in a note today.
“For bonds, flows were concentrated in Malaysian Government Securities (MGS) and Government Investment Issues (GII) worth RM3.1 billion and RM3.2 billion, respectively.
“Year to date (YTD), foreign holdings of Malaysian government bonds (MGS and GII) rose by RM23.9 billion to RM226.1 billion as at end-August, which was equivalent to 25.2 per cent of total outstanding," said the economists.
For MGS, Goh said foreign investors held RM191.7 billion or 40.3 per cent of total MGS outstanding as at end-August.
“Foreign holdings of GII accumulated to RM34.4 billion or 8.6 per cent of total GII outstanding, while foreign ownership of Malaysian equities was unchanged at 20.2 per cent of market capitalisation," she added.
Meanwhile, Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) foreign reserves rose by US$5.2 billion (US$1=RM4.15) month-on-month to US$116.3 billion as at end-August, marking the highest level of reserves in nearly seven years.
Goh said the latest reserves position is sufficient to finance 8.3 months of retained imports and is 1.3 times total short-term external debt.
“The higher reserves reflect an additional allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to Malaysia by the International Monetary Fund," she said. – Bernama
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