Bank Negara cuts key rate by 25 bps to 3%

KUALA LUMPUR: The central bank slashed its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 3% today, the first cut in nearly three years, to help the economy cope with an anticipated slowdown.

A slim majority of the 13 economists polled by Reuters expected Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to cut its overnight policy rate (OPR).

The central bank last cut its policy rate in July 2016, to 3% after Britain voted for Brexit. The rate was raised to 3.25% in January 2018 to “normalise” policy.

The central bank said the rate cut was “intended to preserve the degree of monetary accommodativeness”.

“This is consistent with the monetary policy stance of supporting a steady growth path amid price stability,” BNM said in a statement.