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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Zeti: Basel II will preserve financial stability in region


KUALA LUMPUR: The implementation of Basel II across the Asia Pacific region is expected to ultimately result in more resilient banks and preserve financial stability in the region.

Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the implementation of Basel II was occurring at a time of heightened risks.

“As the underpinnings of Basel II are concerned with enhancing the responsiveness to risk by banking institutions, there are enormous expectations that Basel II will stand up to the test of capturing the complexities and the more uncertain direction of risk in the current environment,” she said.

Zeti said this in her keynote address at the public-private dialogue of the 4th Seacen Centre , Apec Business Advisory Council, the Asian Bankers Association and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council for the Asia Pacific region here yesterday.

Basel II is an upgrade of the previous global banking risk management accord Basel I that focused on credit risk and subsequently market risk.

Under Basel II, the risk capital charge has been extended to cover all risks including “operational risk”.

Said Zeti: “There is also enormous interest in assessing the pre-emptive capabilities of the framework to anticipate the direction of risk and thus ensure the provision of adequate capital buffers for such risk”.

In the Asia Pacific region, 13 countries have adopted the standardised approaches under Basel II.

Zeti said a number of countries had either adopted or announced plans to adopt the more advanced approaches by or before 2010.

“Malaysia adopted the standardised approach this year and has recently issued a concept paper detailing the parameters for the implementation of the more advanced approach to be adopted in 2010,” she said.

Zeti said the Asian region would continue to face inflationary pressures arising from high commodity and energy prices amid a reasonable growth performance.

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