| Hakim Hayat |
MOST of the money changers in the capital said they have run out of Malaysian ringgit as the beginning of the school holiday and the rush to go across the border for year-end shopping led to the scarcity of the currency.
Meanwhile, the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) in a statement to the Borneo Bulletin explained that the exchange rate disparity is due to market factors.
Despite the currency exchanging at more than RM2.63 to the Singapore dollar, the exchange rate varied between RM2.55 and RM2.57 to the Brunei dollar in the country yesterday. A display board at one of the money changers in the capital quoted RM2.60 to one Brunei dollar, however, the counter had a board saying “RM Habis” (run out of ringgit).
There were reports of a long queue at another place giving an exchange rate of RM2.60, but it turned out to be false as the money changer was offering only RM2.56 and had enough currency reserve.
The difference in exchange rates between Singapore dollar and Brunei dollar to Malaysian ringgit is not new according to some, though the Brunei dollar is at par with the Singapore dollar.
“With reference to the article titled ‘M’sian ringgit hits 10-mth low’ published in the Borneo Bulletin dated December 2, 2014, the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) would like to clarify that under the Currency Interchangeability Agreement (CIA) between Brunei Darussalam and Singapore, the Brunei dollar is at par with the Singapore dollar,” the AMBD said in a statement.
“Both currencies are customary tender in the two countries and all banks in Brunei Darussalam and Singapore are obliged to accept and exchange each other’s currency at par and without any charge.
“Notwithstanding this arrangement, one may observe that different exchange rates are being quoted for Brunei dollar and Singapore dollar versus the Malaysian ringgit in different countries.
“This disparity is due to market factors including supply and demand for the currencies, its tradability as well as the profit margins of the money changers.”