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Zeti sees Malaysia's growth to hold steady at 5pc next year [20-12-2012]  
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Malaysia's economic growth is seen holding steady at around five per cent next year despite weak exports, the country's central bank governor official said yesterday.

Bank Negara estimates inflation in 2013 will pick up slightly on high commodity and energy prices, but will remain below three per cent, its governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz told reporters here.

Malaysia posted robust economic growth of 5.2 per cent in the third quarter this year, supported by buoyant domestic demand and investment, and Bank Negara left its overnight policy rate on hold at three per cent last month.

Meanwhile, Zeti said Malaysia is in the final stages of introducing a new legislation for Islamic banking and takaful products, which gives a stronger legal basis to contracts devised by financial institutions.

She did not give a time frame for launch of the legal framework.

She said the legislation will help the Malaysian central bank better regulate and supervise the Islamic finance industry, which globally is valued at US$1.3 trillion (RM3.97 trillion).

"The legal, regulatory and supervisory framework will need to be adjusted to accord greater clarity to the appropriate legal and regulatory treatment," Zeti said .

The new framework will streamline the legal requirements across the Islamic finance industry, where there is a current lack of clarity that potentially hinders its growth ambitions.

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