Ringgit to strengthen ‘quite a lot’ over 6 months, says Tony Fernandes

Tony Fernandes. (Bernama pic)

SINGAPORE: “We are a strong believer that the ringgit will strengthen quite a lot over the next six months,” says Tony Fernandes.

“We also believe that fundamentally, the ringgit is undervalued,” the AirAsia group CEO told Bernama when met on the sidelines of the Singapore Summit 2018 today.

Fernandes was asked if the current weak ringgit performance had an exposure to AirAsia’s operations.

“Obviously, the ringgit has an exposure but we are less worried about it as we are also getting income from other countries … in foreign currencies,” he said.

He noted that the weaker ringgit and other Asian currencies were compensated by other stronger currencies.

“Less of an issue for us,” said Fernandes, who was here as a panellist at a plenary session in discussing “Southeast Asia: Rise of the Digital Economy and a Single Consumer Market”.

Asked what would be the comfortable level of the ringgit for the airline, he replied: “Every level is comfortable for us. We will always find the way.”

The ringgit is currently hovering at 4.1370-4.1400 against the US dollar.

On Friday, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Malaysian ringgit is undervalued amid declines that have also affected a number of emerging market currencies.

He noted that the ringgit, along with the currencies of some other countries, depreciated no thanks to the trade friction between China and the United States, among others.

“The fact is that all the currencies are now depreciating like mad. It’s not only Malaysia. Other currencies are depreciating at a much faster rate than us,” Mahathir said, citing those of Argentina and Turkey, which faced similar woes.