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US Will Eventually Increase Interest Rate, Says Wahid

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SHAH ALAM – The US Federal Reserve will eventually raiseits interest rate and countries and businesses will have to brace themselves for the impact, Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Abdul Wahid Omar said.

He said the Federal Reserve decided to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at near-zero was a much anticipated move.

However, no country could continue to have zero interest rate forever for if it did not happen this month it will be made either in October or December this year, he added.

“Definitely, there will be much speculation in the market, but countries and businesses have to anticipate some time in future that the rate would move and brace themselves for the impact,” he said.

As for Malaysia, it will stay focused on the domestic economy to ensure continuous growth, he told a press conference after officiating the Peneraju Professional Jurutera Lokomotif programme here today.

The collaborative training programme between CNC Engineering Sdn Bhd and Yayasan Peneraju Pendidikan Bumiputera is aimed at increasing the number of certified professional engineers in the railway industry.

Abdul Wahid said 30,000 professionals and skilled engineers were needed to cater to the needs of the rail industry by 2030 and cope with ongoing and future projects announced by the government.

On the RM20 billion funding for ValueCap Sdn Bhd to invest in the stock market, Abdul Wahid said a meeting would be held with the three shareholders later today to work out the plan.

On Tuesday, he announced that the fund would come from ValueCap’s shareholders – Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the Retirement Fund Incorporated and Permodalan Nasional Bhd.

Abdul Wahid said ValueCap’s approach would not be broad based, but targeted to identified individual stocks with strong fundamentals, profitable, good dividend yield and good business model.

Based on its track record, ValueCap’s investments were professionally managed, he said, adding that for the past 11 years since it had been in operation, the government’s investment arm managed to generate an annual return of 15 per cent and accumulated RM8 billion in profit. – BERNAMA

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