Saturday, June 08, 2024

BlackRock’s investment in Wan Fayhsal’s Kelantan and the Ringgit’s comeback

Every time our Ringgit strengthens, our kiasu neighbours in the south are the first to be concerned - and affected. And rightly so. Malaysia receives 8.3 million tourist arrivals from Singapore (pop 5.6 million) yearly and they are big spenders. The cheaper we are, the more they spend. But the last couple of months, the Ringgit has been inching up against their currency. It’s only 2.2% rise in 4 months but, as explains, “For Singaporeans on a shopping expedition to Johor Bahru or perhaps considering a property investment, that’s a hefty currency movement”. 

Read its Explainer: Why is Malaysia’s ringgit up 2.2% in 4 months to the Singdollar and will its rise continue?

Concerted measures by Bank Negara Malaysia to encourage conversion of foreign exchange income held by GLCs, corporates, exporters and investors into MYR has been attributed to our currency’s rise. By converting foreign currencies back into ringgit, the demand for ringgit in the foreign exchange market increases, leading to its appreciation against other currencies.

There have also been more foreign investments in Malaysian equity, which continues to strengthen the ringgit. And increased economic activities, as well: more construction of factories, data centres, industrial sites and solar parks, and more spending on machinery and equipment, boosting imports of these goods.

This, the article says, “has led to support for ongoing infrastructure projects such as the JB-Singapore Rapid Transit System link, and the rollout of news ones, such as the Penang LRT and airport expansions”.

The subject of airports, of course, brings us back to the government’s plan to take Malaysia Airports private via Gateway Development Alliance (GDA), a consortium of Khazanah Malaysia & EPF and foreign partners Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and Abu Dhabi Investment Agency (ADIA). 

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with a jaw-dropping USD10 trillion assets, happens to be in talks with GIP on a takeover. Anywhere else in the world, this would be lauded. Because such a big name helps the economy make a strong case for itself. Except that in Malaysia, we have politicians like Zaid Ibrahim and Wan Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal who are accusing the government of selling out.

Tengku Zafrul is understanbly pissed off with those two. It is his job to bring in foreign investors. “All of you who own Apple (products), if you really feel strongly, you shouldn’t be using them. Who is the biggest shareholder of Whatsapp? Who is the biggest shareholder of Facebook?” -  Tengku Zafrul defends BlackRock involvement in MAHB.

I’m not sure if Zaid Ibrahim or Wan Fayhsal owns an Iphone or a Mac. If they do, they should ditch them already 

Also, as both gentlemen are from Kelantan, they should get their state government to shoo away BlackRock, which has direct investments in major projects in Kelantan. Get a probe going to find out who are benefitting from these BlackRock investments in Kelantan.

But of course they would do neither. Such is the state of the typical Malaysian Opposition and his diehards they lament the Ringgit’s drop and blame the government but just as the currency is making a comeback, they quickly set out to undermine the efforts by the government that are fuelling that comeback.

Read also: Wan Fayhsal files Dewan Rakyat motion on MAHB takeover

No comments:

Post a Comment