Zeti says Malaysia's 2019 economic growth should be as good if not better

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 18): The Malaysian economy as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) is to remain on a sturdy growth path in 2019, despite challenging market conditions, according to Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) chairman Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

Zeti, who was former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor, said the country's 2019 GDP growth “should be as good, if not better”. 

“Well, I’ve always said a growth between 4% to 6% is a sturdy growth path. So Malaysia, still, despite very challenging environment, remains on sturdy growth path.

“The outlook will be presented by all the investment houses, as well as [an] official one by the central bank and the Ministry of Finance, so you will have to wait for their projection; I do not want to pre-empt,” Zeti told reporters on the sidelines of the Nomura Islamic Asset Management Malaysia's 10th anniversary conference here today.

On Thursday (Feb 14), theedgemarkets.com, quoting BNM, reported Malaysia's GDP grew 4.7% in the fourth quarter of 2018 from a year earlier, as private sector activity remained the main driver of growth, while a rebound in exports of goods and services contributed towards net export growth. BNM said full-year 2018 GDP growth stood at 4.7%.

Today, Zeti also fielded reporters' questions on PNB. Zeti said she is confident that the Malaysian government-owned fund manager will achieve a sustainable return in 2019. 

“Investment is all about diversification and the idea is to achieve a sustainable return. I have full confidence in the PNB team, that they will give their best effort to achieve such sustainable return,” Zeti said.