Muhammad Ibrahim is new Bank Negara governor

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim has been appointed as the new governor for five years, effective from May 1, the Prime Minister's Office said on Wednesday.

Muhammad , who will take over from Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akthar Aziz who retires on April 30, said he accepts the appointment as governor with great humility. 

He viewed the appointment as opportunity and call to serve the nation. .

The Prime Minister's Office, had in a statement, said the King, had on the advice of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, endorsed the appointment of Muhammad.

Najib said he was confident Muhammad will continue to assist the government, provide his advice and views to drive the country's economic growth and also administer the monetary policy and oversee the country's financial industry including BNM's efforts to develop the industry.

Muhammad was the deputy governor since 2010. He is a a graduate of Harvard University.

Najib also expressed his appreciation and gratitude to Zeti for her excellent contribution during her tenure as the seventh governor of the central bank.

Meanwhile, Muhammad said in a statement that he will strive to carry out the duties of governor of BNM to the best of his ability. 

“I wish to record my appreciation to the Prime Minister and the government for the confidence and trust placed upon me. 

“It is important for the central bank to maintain monetary and financial stability, remain focused on its strategic agenda and work towards contributing to a better future for all Malaysians,” he said.

Muhammad also thanked Zeti for her exemplary leadership and enormous contributions to the Bank and to the nation.

Meanwhile, Nomura Global Markets Research said it believes Muhammad’s appointment is a benign result, in line with itsexpectations, and will be interpreted as such by the markets. 

“As deputy governor and a member of the MPC under Governor Zeti he is the most qualified candidate and will require a shorter transition period than any of the other candidate, in our view. 

“While we will closely watch Muhammad for any statements or comments that reveal his policy biases, we believe he is unlikely to dramatically alter the direction of monetary policy. Overall, we remain comfortable with our view that BNM will keep its policy rate unchanged this year,” the research house said.

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