Malaysia: Extra monetary measures expected late in March – UOB
UOB Group’s Senior Economist Julia Goh and Economist Loke Siew Ting reviewed the measures already announced by the country and expect a new round of stimulus is likely to be released later in the month.
“The government announced another four initiatives to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 as the country enters the second week of the Movement Control Order (MCO), which started on 18 Mar until 31 Mar. Malaysia has recorded 1,306 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths as at 23 Mar.”
“The latest initiatives are: 1) allowing withdrawals from the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) valued at MYR40bn; 2) allocation of MYR500m to the Health Ministry to purchase critical medical equipment including ventilators, protective gears and equipment, as well as allocation of MYR100m to hire 2,000 medical contract staff; 3) allocation of MYR130m to state governments to battle the virus; and 4) extending higher education loan repayments by six months that involves collection of MYR750m.”
“To date, fiscal and monetary measures that were implemented by the government and central bank include: 1) government’s economic stimulus measures worth MYR62.0bn or 4.0% of GDP; 2) 50bps cut in the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR); and 3) 100bps cut in the Statutory Reserves Requirement (SRR) and other liquidity easing measure to release MYR30bn into the financial system. A broader and more comprehensive package of economic stimulus measures will be announced on 30 Mar.”