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Malaysia eases currency protections as ASEAN vies for investment

Region's economies embrace deregulation to capitalize on US-China tensions

Malaysia's central bank hopes the move will improve the country's position in global supply chains and attract foreign direct investment. (Source photos by AP and Reuters) 

SINGAPORE -- Malaysia is easing rules around its currency as peers in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations compete for job-creating investments from multinationals diversifying away from China.

Bank Negara Malaysia, the country's central bank on Thursday eased regulations to allow companies to hold all of the export earnings in dollars and other foreign currencies. Companies since 2016 have faced a de facto requirement to convert more than 75% of proceeds from exports into ringgit.

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