Bank Negara Malaysia (Source: nst.com.my)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) - The Malaysian central bank, Bank Negara, said on August 21 that its foreign reserves stood at 104.2 billion USD as of August 15.

The figure was 300 million USD lower that the 104.5 billion USD recorded by July 31.

In its statement, the central bank said that the reserves are sufficient to finance 7.6 months of retained imports.

Earlier, Fitch Ratings has affirmed Malaysia's long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating (IDR) at "A-" with a stable outlook.

The rating agency said that the outlook is supported by solid economic growth and a net external creditor position built up from a record of current-account surpluses.

Fitch has also raised its estimate of Malaysian central government debt at end-2017 to around 65 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), from 50.8 percent predicted in late 2017, following the government's recognition that it will need to service a large share of explicitly guaranteed debt.

It expects Malaysia's GDP growth to slow to 5.2 percent in 2018, 4.8 percent in 2019 and 4.6 percent in 2020, from 5.9 percent in 2017, as the government seeks to constrain recurrent spending in line with its narrower revenue base.

Recently, Bank Negara also revised down the country’s growth forecast this year to 5 percent, after its gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter came in sharply below its expectation.

At a press briefing to announce the latest GDP data, the central bank's governor, Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, said the first half GDP growth of 4.9 percent was lower than expectation, so the bank has revised down its full year growth to reflect recent global tensions.-VNA