Kicking off a good start in 2018, the ringgit has appreciated not just against the greenback but also against the Singapore dollar (SGD), recording a 14-month high today at 2.9994 since Oct 24, 2016 of 2.9948. The ringgit strengthened to a high of 2.9991 today. (TheEdge)
Just when everyone is happily converting their Ringgit for overseas vacations last month, the Ringgit continues to strengthen during the first week of 2018. No wonder many people are speculating that the SGD/MYR could go down to 2.50 level not seen for multiple years. Could this happen this year?
- Money pouring in by foreign fundsThis could be supported by the news report that the acquisition of Malaysian equity by foreign funds surged to RM915.1 million in the first week of 2018, up from RM165.1 million the prior week, according to MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd Research.
- Favourable economic conditionsGDP is picking up. The global environment is looking pretty stable. China is growing faster than forecasts. All this is contributing positively to the entire economic ecosystem. Locally, this is evidenced by the latest export data published reporting that the exports rose by 14.4% from a year earlier to RM 83.5billion in November of 2017, above market estimates of a 13.9% growth. Notably, this is the 13th straight month of increase in outbound shipments recorded. What a good sign.
- Recovering global oil priceWhen talking about Malaysia, we can't run away from oil prices, because of Petronas (the national oil company) which contributes taxes significantly to the government's coffers. Hovering around USD60/barrel currently, it's actually highest for past 3 years. In the eyes of investors, higher oil price = stronger Ringgit.
- Potential rising of interest rateAnalysts have projected a 25 basis point (bps) increase in the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) to 3.25% in the second half of 2018 (2H18), following signs of hawkishness at Bank Negara Malaysia’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting last November. (TheSun Daily)
So, can SGD/MYR really strengthen to 2.50 level?
Let's wait and see...