Breakdown of Foreign Currency-Denominated External Debt (% of Share) (Photo: thestar.com.my)

Hanoi (VNA) – Malaysia's external debt in 2017’s fourth quarter hit 883.4 billion RM (215.5 billion USD) or 65.3 percent of the country’s GDP, according to The Star.

The Q4 debt increased from the 873.8 billion RM (204.7 billion USD) or 64.6 percent of GDP recorded in the preceding quarter.

The Central Bank of Malaysia said the higher external debt was partially caused by valuation effects following the strengthening of the ringgit against selected major and regional currencies during the fourth quarter.

It also noted the debt remains manageable given the country’s currency and maturity profiles, and the availability of large external assets. More than one-third of total external debt (34.3 percent) is denominated in ringgit, it said.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Malaysia’s GDP grew by 5.9 percent, lower than the figure of the third quarter (6.2 percent), but higher than that of 2016’s Q4 (4.2 percent).-VNA