Money changers in Malaysia stop stocking up on US dollars due to high exchange rate

A woman walking past a money changer in Kuala Lumpur.
A woman walking past a money changer in Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO: AFP

JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Money changers in Johor Baru have temporarily stopped stocking up on United States dollars because the exchange rate is too high and it is too expensive.

Presently the exchange rate is RM3.87 for every US$1.

A check by The Star showed that most money changers here had an average of US$1,000 in hand.

They were selling at RM3.87 for each dollar and buying at RM3.79.

Money changer's assistant Alice Chua, 32, said operators were not buying US dollars because it was too expensive.

"Although there is still demand, we are not planning to buy US dollars from the bank if our stock finishes," she said at the outlet in Jalan Tebrau here on Tuesday.

Another assistant, who wanted to be known only as Pua, said not many were rushing to buy US dollars.

"We have temporarily stopped buying dollars from the bank but we are still accepting dollars from customers who wish to exchange them for the ringgit," he added.

The availability of US dollars also depended on tourists exchanging them for ringgit, said Ms Ivy Tan, 45, manager of a money changing outlet.

Another outlet manager, who declined to be named, cited the off-holiday season as the main reason for the low supply of the US currency.

"If there are more tourists, then our supply will increase because we rarely buy dollars from the bank," he added.

However, a money changer's assistant who wanted to be known only as Khai said her company had over US$9,000 in stock.

"There is not much demand for dollars as it is not a holiday season and not many Malaysians are travelling abroad, so I still have the currency in stock," she added.

Another assistant at an outlet in Jalan Lingkaran Dalam said the stock for Singapore dollars was not affected.

"Our stock is more than enough to meet demand for Singapore dollars because we have many regular customers."