KUALA LUMPUR : Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) was among the first central banks to diversify its foreign reserves into instruments from within the Asean region, Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said on Friday.
It was a key effort the rating agencies failed to recognise, she said.
"Bank Negara was one of the first central banks to diversify its reserves into instruments from this region because we felt we knew this region although rating agencies didn't give us the ratings we felt we deserved," she said at the Wharton Global Forum 2016.
She said BNM, through its own monitoring and surveillance, felt that ASEAN is also where it should diversify reserves into.
"And this not only reduces our vulnerability to external developments but it will contribute towards achieving more stable conditions in the regional financial markets," she said.
The future of ASEAN needs to be built on collective actions that are for the advancements of the region, whereas regional cooperation in the areas of surveillance, financial safety nets and crisis management is crucial, she noted.
"We don't want to wait for another crisis which we all experienced in 1997/98 where we managed it individually