Malaysians cash in as pound and yen tumble

Malaysians are quickly capitalising on the drop, with those looking to travel to Japan purchasing the yen well in advance of their trips.

Junaid Ibrahim And Gerard Gimino

Junaid Ibrahim And Gerard Gimino

The Star


All the rage: Checks on money changer outlets around the Klang Valley also saw outlets running low on the yen. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

September 28, 2022

PETALING JAYA – Despite the buzz over the ringgit’s slide against the US dollar, the tumbling of several major currencies has also been a boon to Malaysians.

With the British pound and yen also taking a beating, Malaysians are quickly capitalising on the drop, mainly for their children’s education fees, while those looking to travel to Japan have also seized the opportunity to purchase the yen well in advance of their trips.

Construction developer YT Tan, 55, said he was considering buying more British pounds after observing current rates.

“I made some exchanges earlier this year to pay for my son’s final year of education in the United Kingdom, but seeing how the rates are currently more favourable, I may consider purchasing more British pounds.

“This would mainly be towards financing the family’s trip to my son’s graduation ceremony there next year.

“The amount exchanged, however, won’t be as much when compared to the education fees,” he said.

Cardiff-based student Elite Teoh, 20, said his family too was considering purchasing more pounds given the current exchange rates.

“Prior to travelling there earlier this month, my family and I exchanged the pound at about RM5.30.

“Seeing that it is currently hovering between 5 and 5.1 (at press time), we may want to capitalise on this,” he said, adding that his family in Malaysia would continue dropping by money changers this week, and make the exchanges if rates were satisfactory.

Ecommerce training manager Evan Wong Hon Kitt, 33, said he went to eight different money changers here to source for the yen.

“Seeing that Japan had recently announced the reopening of its borders beginning Oct 11, I decided to quickly exchange the currencies for a trip both later this year and next year,” he said.

He added that he has been keeping track of the exchange rates since the country announced plans to lift its travel ban earlier this year.

However, during his rounds, Wong found many money changers in Petaling Jaya were out of yen, while one was selling it at 1,000 yen at RM40, above the market rate of RM31.

“Outlets which had the yen were selling at the market rate,” he said, adding that there were also long lines during his visit to several money changers.

He said his decision came about following advice from a friend residing there, who mentioned that it was better to purchase much earlier in anticipation of the rising rates once travel fully resumed in Japan.

Checks on money changer outlets in the Klang Valley also saw outlets running low on both the pound and yen.

Describing it as a hectic Monday, money changer Nadia Nabila said lines formed late Monday evening, following the tumbling of the pound.

“We sold out almost every note of the pound sterling, where we only have a five-pound note currently left,” she said, showing it to reporters.

She added that the yen was also sold out at their premises.

Another money changer, Affin Aizan, said he only had four yen notes left.

“The pound (notes) finished on Monday night itself, with the yen also currently in high demand,” he said, adding that they were unsure when more notes would be coming in.

Another money changer, Mohd Padin, was totally out of the pound and yen when met.

Malik Maju Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Thamemul Anzari Dastigeer said his outlet received a slew of enquiries on Monday evening.

“The calls kept coming in, with some also instantly making the decision to exchange for the pound at our outlet upon seeing the rates,” he said, adding that his outlet also stocked up on the pound last week.

Thamemul said he was glad there was still a healthy demand for the pound as it enabled his outlets to finish their existing stocks and avoid further losses if the pound continued to depreciate.

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