Is The Ringgit Turning Into Junk?
Malaysians continue to languish over the falling Ringgit as credit-default-swaps (CDS) traders place the country in the “junk” category, along with developing nations like South Africa.
Two weeks after Brazil’s credit rating was lowered, CDS investors are punishing other emerging markets facing similar challenges, sending their implied sovereign ratings at least five levels below their official grades, according to data from Moody’s Corp.
Malaysia is A3 at the company, though traders see it six levels lower at Ba3.
Most developing nations are confronting the same issues that saw Brazil losing its investment-grade rating at Standard & Poor’s – a plunge in commodity prices, a slumping currency and political turmoil.
Sputtering growth in China and the prospect of higher US interest rates are also boosting concern of more downgrades across emerging markets.
While investors’ ever-changing opinions are not an input in the ratings decisions, the company’s analysts study them to understand why the gaps exist, according to Moody’s.
In Malaysia, prominent banker and CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak has expressed his worry about the financial controversies surrounding the nation.
Nazir, who is the brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, said on his Instagram account on Thursday that he suspects that CDS traders have placed Malaysia in the junk category due to the large amount of negative coverage in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and the New York Times.
“All ‘capital’ people read at least one, if not all of them. We have to change the current narrative about Malaysia with answers or legal suits; can’t just ignore them,” he warned.
Although Nazir did not specify what Malaysia had to answer for, the country has made international headlines for controversies involving the Government-owned investment arm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
There’s nothing you can do about the falling Ringgit, but you can make proactive measures to make the most of your hard-earned cash by using the right credit cards.