Malaysia Acts to Save its Markets from Crisis

Malaysia Acts to Save its Markets from CrisisMalaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcement that a revived government equity investment firm intends to pour RM20 billion (US$4.6 billion) into shoring up the country’s stock market may face serious headwinds in a flagging economy. “Malaysia’s market is much thinner than China’s so RM20 billion could make quite a bit of difference. On a fundamental…

Goldman’s Role in the 1MDB Controversy

Goldman’s Role in the 1MDB ControversyGoldman Sachs must be foremost among foreigners praying that the 1MDB scandal doesn’t topple the Najib government. The full scale inquiry by agencies ranging from Bank Negara to the Anti-Corruption Commission would surely unearth so much that was rotten in the state of Malaysia and might well give the guarantor of its huge debts (the…

Malaysian Currency in Free Fall

Malaysian Currency in Free FallThe Malaysian ringgit, under pressure from international currency traders betting against a stalling economy and a major political crisis, has hit the psychologically important barrier of RM4:U$1 as Bank Negara, the country’s central bank, throws its reserves at the attempt to stop the slide. The economic problems have hit the stock market as well, with…

Malaysians Seek Currency Havens as Crisis Grows

Malaysians Seek Currency Havens as Crisis GrowsConsumers in Malaysia are turning to money changers to trade the domestic currency for US and Singapore dollars, triggering a foreign currency shortage as a steeply falling ringgit cuts into their buying power. Currency traders say the run on the ringgit is causing a shortage of US dollars as people try to move their money…

Malaysia’s Controversial State Fund to be Dissolved?

Malaysia’s Controversial State Fund to be Dissolved?A Reuters news service report that 1Malaysia Development Bhd., the ill-starred and debt-ridden state investment fund, may be restructured and possibly dissolved, has to be considered a devastating political blow for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who has been under intense criticism for months over the fund’s debts and its opaque accounts. Reuters quoted sources…

Emails Blow Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund Wide Open

Emails Blow Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund Wide OpenIn December of last year, the controversial investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd abruptly called in all of its computers, employee laptops and servers and wiped them clean of all emails. (Read: Controversial Malaysian Investment Fund’s Computer Records Wiped Off) It was too late. The reason has come embarrassingly clear with a report by Clare Rewcastle…

Controversial Malaysian Investment Fund’s Computer Records Wiped Off

Controversial Malaysian Investment Fund’s Computer Records Wiped OffAll computers and servers at 1Malaysia Development Bhd, the troubled investment fund backed by Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance, were called in and wiped clean just before the end of last year, the investigative blog Sarawak Report reported on Feb. 13. 1MDB employees told the blog that all computers and records at the fund were called…

Indonesia Ties-Up with Malaysia’s Proton Car

Indonesia Ties-Up with Malaysia’s Proton CarIndonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s decision to appoint the Malaysian carmaker Proton as a possible vehicle for an Indonesian national car ties the country to an industrial concern that has handicapped the Malaysian economy since it was dreamed up by then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in the 1980s. Jokowi, who during his presidential campaign expressed…

Malaysia Investment Fund Misses Payment Again

Malaysia Investment Fund Misses Payment Again1MDB, the troubled state owned investment company that threatens to become a millstone around the neck of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, has once again failed to meet a debt repayment to a consortium of Malaysian banks led by Maybank and Rashid Hussain Bank, both of which are owned by government-linked companies. The massive losses…

Oil Prices not Delivering Asia Boom

Oil Prices not Delivering Asia BoomThe best efforts of central bankers in the West and Japan to re-ignite inflation have thus far failed. The rest of Asia, which once seemed partly immune to the problems of aging and indebted societies, is now looking far more vulnerable to deflationary forces. Low and still-falling interest rates should in principle benefit these countries…
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