Malaysia seen holding key rate unchanged at 3.25 pct

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 4): Malaysia's central bank is likely hold its key interest rate unchanged at 3.25 percent at a policy meeting on Thursday, a Reuters poll showed.

In July, Bank Negara Malaysia increased interest rates by 25 basis points to 3.25 percent in order to curb rising consumer debt after witnessing strong economic growth in the first half.

Sixteen out of 17 economists polled by Reuters forecast the bank will opt to keep interest rates on hold on Thursday, as growth in housing loans eased in recent months while the global economic sentiment has worsened.

Forecasts for Malaysia's November 6 interest rate (Overnight Policy Rate)
decision:

 INDIVIDUAL ESTIMATES          OPR
                              (pct)
 Median                       3.25
 High                         3.50
 Low                          3.25
 Sept 18 decision             3.25
 No. of respondents            17
 Affin Hwang                  3.25
 AmBank                       3.25
 BA Merrill Lynch             3.25
 CIMB                         3.25
 Credit Suisse                3.25
 DBS                          3.25
 Forecast Pte                 3.25
 Hong Leong                   3.25
 HSBC                         3.25
 ING                          3.25
 Kenanga                      3.25
 Maybank                      3.25
 OCBC                         3.25
 RAM                          3.25
 Standard Chartered           3.25
 UBS                          3.50
 UOB                          3.25