Money changers see surge in demand for ringgit, Aussie dollar

A money changer at A.R. Money Exchange counts the Malaysian ringgit on 27 July 2015.
A money changer at A.R. Money Exchange counts the Malaysian ringgit on 27 July 2015. PHOTO: ST FILE

Some money changers have been running low on Australian dollars after the currency tumbled to reach parity with the Singdollar.

Both the Aussie dollar and the Malaysian ringgit, which is also at historic lows, are in heavy demand.

At AR Money Changer in Bishan, Junction 8, the sale of Australian dollars has jumped by nearly 10 per cent in recent days.

Employee Roshan Nasarudeen Nattamai said most of the outlet's customers of Australian currency are those studying there or parents funding their children's studies Down Under. He estimated that the outlet had sold over A$10,000 of the currency to these customers since Saturday.

Another money changer - who wanted to be known only as Mr Ko - in the Beach Road area also reported an increase in sales of the Australian dollar.

Mr Ko, who serves mainly companies, said his "stock (of Australian dollars) is running a bit tight".

One reason was demand, which had jumped 10 to 20 per cent.

In addition, he had reduced his holdings after the currency fell earlier this month.

This was done to reduce the cost of buying the currency as he expected it would fall further.

The owner of Mayura Money Changer in Toa Payoh, who wanted to be known only as Mr Deen, said some customers are buying small amounts of Australian dollars and Malaysian ringgit, but most are awaiting further falls.

He said: "Toa Payoh is a local area (in the heartland), not like in town where people would probably buy and keep Australian dollars."

The ringgit, he said, is more in demand at his outlet.

On weekends and public holidays, when people tend to travel out of the country, sales can reach up to RM50,000 (S$17,900), he said. On other days, sales are around RM10,000.

A money changer at Sim Lim Square, Aramex International Exchange, said most of its sales come from Malaysians working in the area, who exchange Singapore dollars for ringgit to spend back home.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2015, with the headline 'Money changers see surge in demand for ringgit, Aussie dollar'. Print Edition | Subscribe