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Zeti Says Malaysia’s Base Lending Rate ‘Less Relevant’ Now
By Chong Pooi Koon Dec 18, 2013 1:45 PM GMT+0800
Malaysia’s central bank governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz commented on the bank’s rationale for a new reference rate framework to reporters in Kuala Lumpur today.
On new framework:
“The base lending rate that is supposed to be used as a reference rate for pricing loans is less relevant now. For couple of years now, the average lending rate is very much less than the BLR and this is because the BLR doesn’t just reflect the funding cost. It reflects other costs, overhead costs, and others. So the new framework will be more related to the funding cost, especially the marginal funding cost, which is actually how banks are pricing their loans.”
On timing of new framework:
“We have a concept paper and a proposal of what the new reference rate framework should be and we’ll give it to the industry to examine it and give their feedback before we introduce it, probably later during the year.”
The central bank will issue the paper in January, Zeti said in a speech earlier.
On inflation and interest rates:
“We will make an assessment about what the rate of inflation is. But with that assessment will come the reason why the general prices have increased. Therefore it doesn’t determine completely what the monetary policy decision will be. We have to make a very careful assessment.
‘‘If it’s demand-induced inflation, it would prompt a review of the monetary policy rate, or level of accommodation that we have in place. If it’s rising costs, and we don’t see second round effects, or knock-on effects on other prices rising, then the assessment will be that the impact of this price increase will be transitory and it will normalize after a period of time and therefore it would not warrant addressing it through interest rates.”
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