Malaysia’s Interest Rates Stable: BNM’s OPR to Remain at 3% Through 2024

bank negara bnm

In a recent assessment, Victor Yong, an interest rates strategist at UOB Global Economics and Market Research, has provided a detailed outlook on the future movements of the Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Overnight Policy Rate (OPR). According to Yong, BNM is expected to maintain the OPR at 3.00 percent for at least another twelve months, with the next adjustment likely to be a reduction.

Yong’s commentary points to a peak in the current OPR, with Malaysian policymakers finding the existing monetary policy settings satisfactory for the current economic climate. This stability in the interest rate suggests a strategic positioning from BNM, indicating their current comfort with the economic environment and a wait-and-see approach towards global financial trends.

“The OPR has likely reached a peak at 3.00 percent, and policymakers have indicated that they are comfortable with the prevailing monetary policy setting,” Yong explained in his note. This sentiment is reinforced by the anticipation of easing policies, albeit contingent on prior moves by the US Federal Reserve.


The analysis of bond market dynamics further supports this view. This year’s bond auctions have shown an improvement over last year, particularly in long-term maturities and Government Investment Issues, which have outperformed Malaysia Government Securities. The demand for these long-term investments has increased, especially following the US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s hint at possible rate cuts in 2024, which has encouraged investors to lock in high yields while preparing for potentially lower future rates.

This strategic shift in investment patterns reflects broader market sentiments. “As we work our way through 2024, the rate cut narrative has lost some of its persuasiveness, and we may see subsequent auction BTCs for the longer maturities mean revert towards historical averages,” Yong added.

Moreover, the Malaysian ringgit interest rate swap (MYR IRS) forwards curve aligns with the prolonged OPR hold, suggesting a market consensus on the stability of near-term rates. This expectation, mirroring those of the US rates market, reflects broader economic indicators showing resilient growth and persistent inflation, which temper the prospects for substantial rate cuts in the near future.

As the financial landscape of 2024 unfolds, Yong’s insights offer a nuanced understanding of Malaysia’s monetary policy trajectory, positioning BNM’s strategies as reflective of both domestic economic signals and international fiscal movements. Investors and policymakers alike will find this extended period of stability in interest rates a crucial factor in their financial planning and economic predictions for Malaysia.

Compare listings