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Tuesday, September 1, 1998 Published at 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

Malaysian central bank imposes forex controls

The Malaysian central bank is imposing strict foreign exchange controls, in an attempt to protect the national currency, the ringgit, from further devaluation.

Describing the measures as a last resort, the Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohammed, said the government would set a fixed exchange rate for the ringgit, which would only be allowed to trade in Malaysia.

Following the announcement share prices fell sharply, finishing more than thirteen-per-cent down.

The ringgit has lost nearly forty-cer-cent of its value against the dollar in the past year -- a trend blamed by Dr Mahathir on foreign speculators.

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