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Repost :: Why Malaysia is riskier than India, Indonesia?

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High levels of public debt, rising external debt and shrinking current account surplus have made Malaysia more riskier than India, Indonesia

William Pesek

Malaysia’s current-account surplus is dwindling, from 16% of GDP in 2008 to 3.7% last year. And household debt is, to use Fowler’s words, “worryingly high” at more than 80% of GDP compared to less than 60% in 2008. Photo: Bloomberg

From missing airplanes to jail-bound opposition leaders, Malaysia has recently made international headlines for all the wrong reasons. Will the nation’s economy be next?

That’s the thrust of new report from Sarah Fowler of UK-based Oxford Economics, which ranks Malaysia the “riskiest country in Asia of those we consider,” more so than India, Indonesia and even coup-happy Thailand. On the surface, she points out, all’s well: Growth is zooming along at 6.2%, the external balance is reasonably sound and political stability reigns. But all’s not what it seems. “Prompted by its high levels of public debt, rising external debt and shrinking current account surplus, there has been a shift in the perception of risks towards Malaysia and away from Indonesia,” Fowler explains.

Malaysia wasn’t included in Morgan Stanley’s “fragile five” […]