Bank Negara gets a new Governor from May 1, 2016

April 27, 2016

Bank Negara gets a new Governor from May 1, 2016

by Reuters/

Congratulations and Good Luck

Putrajaya has appointed Dato’ Muhammad Ibrahim as the new governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, after months of market speculation and uncertainty ahead of the retirement of longstanding head Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

Muhammad, 56, who is currently a Deputy Governor, would take over effective May 1, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“I am confident that under Muhammad’s leadership, Bank Negara Malaysia can continue its service in helping the government, providing advice and views for catalysing the country’s economic growth, as well as administer monetary policy and overseeing the country’s financial industry, including continuing Bank Negara’s efforts to grow the financial industry,” Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said in the statement.

“On behalf of the governemnt, I would like to express gratitude and appreciation to (Tan Sri Dr) Zeti Akhtar Aziz for her excellent contributions during her tenure as the seventh governor of the central bank,” Najib added.

Muhammad is a member of the central bank’s monetary policy committee and sits as an independent director on the board of national oil firm Petronas. The ringgit turned firmer after the announcement.

Muhammad has a tough task ahead, with slumping oil and commodity prices dragging on the economy and a simmering political scandal at home that has worried global investors.He will chair his first policy meeting on May 19. His first public appearance will be when first quarter growth figures are announced on May 13.

Steady hand

After Zeti’s steady hand on the tiller for 16 years, businesses and investors will be looking for policy continuity and assurances about the central bank’s independence.

So far this year, Malaysia’s currency and bond markets have enjoyed a degree of calm after being battered in 2015 by worries about the impact of tumbling energy prices on the government’s finances and political uncertainty.

The ringgit lost nearly 19 percent against the US dollar last year.Zeti, 68, who steps down on April 30, was named as one of the world’s best central bank chiefs by Global Finance magazine in 2009.

Muhammad was seen as one of the favourites to take over from Zeti, having been one of her deputies since 2010. During a career spanning 32 years with the central bank, Muhammad held a key role during the Asian Financial Crisis as Managing Director of Danamodal Nasional Berhad, a bank recapitalisation agency.

The new governor is a member of the central bank’s monetary policy committee and is an independent director on the board of national oil firm Petronas.

A chartered accountant and University of Malaya graduate, he holds a master’s degree from Harvard University and a postgraduate diploma in Islamic banking and finance from the International Islamic University Malaysia.

South-East Asia’s third-largest economy grew five percent in 2015, slowing from six percent in 2014. In January, Najib revised the 2016 budget to reflect sharply lower oil prices and cut this year’s GDP forecast to 4.0-4.5 percent from 4.0-5.0 percent.



6 thoughts on “Bank Negara gets a new Governor from May 1, 2016

  1. How will the new Governor deal with 1MDB and its debt default, and Najib’s donation affair. Someone asked whether Rosmah had a hand in the appointment of Dato’ Ibrahim. I told him that the Governor’s appointment is made by His Majesty Yang diPertuan Agong on the recommendations of the Prime Minister. That was the practice in the past. But I am not sure if that practice has changed.

    Maybe Najib has to clear this with his wife before he nominates Dato’ Ibrahim for the Agong’s consideration. As you know, strange things are happening in Malaysia. Even an Arab–the stingiest of the lot–can donate USD700k to Najib as an act of generosity. I am no longer surprised about Malaysia. –Din Merican

  2. No matter who was appointed, I feel sorry for him. Looking at the public perception of all that was appointed by the tainted hand, I can only say be careful not good luck. Hope u are not curse by the rakyat like the igp, ag, pac chairman etc.

  3. Datuk Ibrahim (he’s got a PJN), should have been the proper replacement for TS Zeti right from the very start – in terms of seniority among her deputies – instead of all those unnecessary rumors. Jibros was actually fiddling with political appointees, but in the end some infinitesimal rationality remained. Zeti made a valiant effort to scuttle the shenanigans – ‘cuz that was all she could do..

    While M.I. may not be the best of the lot, i sincerely hope that he at least maintains whatever is left of Zeti’s legacy. A lot of folk are unhappy about this ‘Parent of All Scandals’, but honestly the system of checks and balances have long been trashed beyond redemption.

    Like in all UMNOb-ified stat bodies, Bank Negara is powerless to defend themselves, both from the Establishment and the Opposition. It is made worse by rumors, ignorance, superficiality and vicious polemics of folks outside the system.

    It is easy to to yodel and grumble about the ‘culpability’, inefficiency or degeneracy of B. Negara – and harken to days ye olde – with the assumption we won’t be in the mess we are in now. Wrong! There have been many scandals which haven’t seen the light of day. This one is unfortunately the biggest ‘muthaf***er’ of them all.

    So the reality is way different, because all gomen institutions have been corrupted or compromised someway or another, by the Crass Hubris and Expediencies of the Inviolable Executive. In Bolehland, it only takes One hand to Clap and the other to Slap. Carma is not the only thing that prevents Crime and Embezzlement.

    Is anybody here truly Innocent of Pandering to that Omnipotent Stratification?

  4. He has to be perceived by his country and the international community as independent and transparent. Otherwise, Malaysia’s reputation will further deteriorate after the Najib scandal and the two air-plane disappearances.

  5. Pingback: Bank Negara Malaysia Gabenor 2016 | howgivemoney

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