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Some factors Bank Negara considers before changing interest rates [31-10-2012]  
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Bank Negara will study the inflationary environment and global economic situation when it assesses the country's interest rates during a monetary policy committee meeting, said central bank governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

“We will look at future trends of inflation to see whether it will moderate further. We will also consider the future direction of the global economy given that our external sector has moderated quite significantly in the second half of this year. All these factors will be taken into account,” she said.

Bank Negara is scheduled to release a monetary policy statement on Nov 8.

Zeti said the slowdown in the external sector had already been expected by Bank Negara, noting that the economy had performed “better than expected” in the first half of 2012. “This (external slowdown) is well within our expectations because of developments in Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom. “There is no change to the range of the economi growth being projected,” she added on the sidelines of the 26th East Asian Insurance Congress here yesterday. On the consolidation in the insurance industry of late, she said Bank Negara was very pleased as it was market driven.

“We are please it does not need any special policies to drive it but I think there has been a recognition that you need to achieve some critical size in order to be sustainable. Therefore, the smaller insurers have been absorbed and merged and this has been very encouraging,” she said.

On another matter, Zeti said Bank Negara was “expediting all investigations” on Genneva Gold so that there would be an early conclusion to the the matter. “We know that there are many anxious depositors and investors so we will expedite it as fast as we can so that there will be an early conclusion,” she said without elaborating. Meanwhile, Public Gold Marketing Sdn Bhd said in a statement that it had been verified as a genuine business model and was removed from the Bank Negara Consumer Alert list on Monday.

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