Malaysia's current account balance surplus inches up to RM9.1bil

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's current account balance inched up marginally by 0.3 per cent to RM9.1 billion in the third quarter of 2023 (3Q 2023), mainly lifted by net exports of goods, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM).

Chief Statistician Malaysia, Datuk Seri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the current account balance surplus in the third quarter of 2023 was driven by higher net exports of goods, followed by lower deficits in servicesand secondary income account.

On a quarterly basis, the net exports of goods account saw an uptick in the third quarter, jumping to RM32.7 billion from RM29.5 billion in the previous quarter. Goods exports rose by 2.2 per cent in contrast with the second quarter 2023 to record RM260.4 billion.

The main exports were electrical and electronics (E&E), petroleum products and chemicals and chemical products, especially to Singapore, China and the USA.

DoSM said the goods import also showed an increment of 1.0 per cent quarter-on-quarter to reach RM227.7 billion, mainly contributed by import of intermediate goods.

China, Singapore and the USA were the top sources of import.

The financial account recorded a turnaround from a net outflow of RM11.6 billion in the previous quarter to a net inflow of RM14.9 billion in the third quarter of 2023.

"This reversal was mainly driven by an inflow in other investment at RM34.6 billion against the preceding quarter, attributable to higher interbank borrowing by residents with Financial Institutions abroad," it said in a statement today.

At the same time, portfolio investment switched to a net outflow of RM14.1 billion, owing to subscription of foreign equity securities and bonds by residents. Furthermore, direct Investment recorded a higher net outflow of RM6.1 billion, contributed by equity and investment fund shares.

The net outflow in direct investment abroad (DIA) rose to RM13.4 billion as compared to RM8.0 billion in the previous quarter.

The major contributors of DIA were the services sector, particularly in financial activities, followed by mining and quarrying and agriculture sectors.

The top three destinations for DIA were Indonesia, Angola and Viet Nam. Foreign direct investment (FDI) posted a higher net inflow of RM7.2 billion against RM3.1 billion in the preceding quarter.

The largest recipient of FDI were the services sector, mainly in financial activities and mining and quarrying.

Hong Kong, China and the United Kingdom were the primary sources of FDI.

As at the end of third quarter of 2023, the cumulative investment positions for FDI and DIA were RM914.9 billion and RM659.6 billion, respectively.

DoSM said Malaysia's International Investment Position (IIP) garnered a net asset of RM94.9 billion as at the end of this quarter, while Malaysia's International Reserves stood at RM517.1 billion.

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