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Malaysia central bank keeps rate unchanged as ringgit slides on election

The Malaysian central bank decided to keep its overnight policy rate unchanged as offshore trade signaled the ringgit extended losses following the election victory by veteran former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The monetary policy committee of Bank Negara Malaysia said it left the rate unchanged at 3.25% on the back of continued economic expansion and moderate inflation.

The ringgit fell 0.9% to 4.0102 to the dollar by 5:30 a.m. ET, after depreciating 2.2% May 9, when the 92-year-old opposition leader won a shock victory as his party secured a parliamentary majority in general elections.

Mohamad's key campaign promises include the abolition of the 6% goods and services tax and the reintroduction of fuel subsidies, Bloomberg News reported.