Bank Negara seen maintaining OPR at 3% for the rest of 2019 — MIDF

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 12): MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd expects Malaysia's overnight policy rate (OPR) to stay at 3% for the rest of 2019, as the 25 basis point (bp) cut in May this year is deemed sufficient to boost economic growth.

MIDF said this today in a note issued shortly after Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) statement today that its monetary policy committee (MPC) decided to maintain the OPR at 3%.

At the current level of the OPR, the stance of monetary policy remains accommodative and supportive of economic activity, BNM said. The MPC will continue to assess the balance of risks to domestic growth and inflation to ensure the country's monetary policy stance remains conducive to sustainable growth, amid price stability, according to BNM.

MIDF said BNM's move to maintain the OPR at 3% is in line with MIDF's expectation.

"As long as major macroeconomic indicators, especially GDP growth, remains stable and above 4%, besides gradual increase in core inflation, we opine no further change in monetary stance is required at this juncture.

"Besides that, the Fed has only reduced its key policy rate by 25bp so far. Since there will be less pressure from both domestic and external fronts, we anticipate that BNM will maintain the OPR at 3.00% rest of 2019," MIDF said., quoting BNM, reported that on May 7 this year, BNM said the MPC decided to reduce the OPR to 3%. It was reported that during the previous meeting on March 5 this year, BNM said then that the MPC decided to maintain the OPR at 3.25%.

BNM's website shows that there will be one more MPC meeting this year on Nov 5.