Thursday, April 24, 2008

The 25th Anniversary of Bank Negara Malaysia

Commemorative Issue of Postage Stamps to Mark the 25th Anniversary of Bank Negara Malaysia

Date of Issue: 1984-01-26
Denominations: 20 cents and $1.00
Stamp Size: 26 mm x 43.5 mm
Paper: Unwatermarked
Printing Process: Offset Lithography
Printer: Security Printers (M) Sdn. Bhd. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Sheet Composition: 100 stamps
Designer: Mr. Phoon Poh Hoong

Stamps in the Series:

First Day Cover:

Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of Malaysia) was established on the 26th of January 1959 as the monetary authority of the nation, with responsibilities for currency issue, management of the nation’s reserves, and acting as the Government’s banker and financial advisor. The Bank is also responsible for monetary policy and the promotion of a sound financial structure in the country.

One of the first tasks undertaken by Bank Negara was the creation of domestic banks and the expansion of the banking network to the rural areas and small towns where banking facilities were inadequate or non-existent. Through its regulatory and supervisory functions, Bank Negara oversees the prudent expansion of the banking system by encouraging the adoption of efficient management and sound banking practices in order to generate public confidence in the banking system. A local stock exchange was established in 1962 to facilitate the development of the capital market and the first discount house was established in 1963 to assist in the development of the domestic money market. The finance companies were brought within the jurisdiction of the Bank in 1969, and the first merchant bank was established in 1970 to provide specialist-banking services for the corporate sector. By 1983, there were 38 commercial banks with 608 offices, 41 finance companies with 248 offices, 12 merchant banks with 15 offices, 5 discount houses, 2 stock exchanges and a number of specialized financial intermediaries serving the growing need for sophisticated financial services in the country. There were only 23 commercial banks with 99 offices in 1959.

A major objective of the Bank is to promote monetary stability such that economic growth would proceed with price stability, it influences monetary and credit growth through a number of instruments, including the imposition of statutory reserves and liquidity requirements, the introduction of lending guidelines, management of interest rates and operations in money and foreign exchange. As the custodian of the nation’s reserves, the Bank maintains a sizable portfolio of foreign assets to bank the currency it issues. To promote the New Economic Policy, the banks are obliged to follow lending guidelines to ensure that credit is readily available at reasonable cost to priority sectors of the economy, such as the Bumiputera Community, small-scale enterprises, agriculture food production, and low and medium cost housing. Bank Negara also acts as the financial adviser, banker and fiscal agent of the Federal Government, as well as banker to the State Governments where the Bank’s branches are located. Bank Negara assumed sole responsibility for the issue of currency with effect from June 1967. From the 15th of September 1983 the Bank issued a new series of notes with new designs and improved security features.

Bank Negara experienced rapid growth in its organization over the past 25 years. When the Bank was first established in 1959, the administration comprised only 4 departments with a total staff of 46. Today, the Bank comprises 13 departments with 8 branches in Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Pinang, Johor Bahru, Kuantan, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Alor Setar and Ipoh. The total staff strength is now 1,800. Future development plans include the construction of a new Head Office extension and new branches in Kota Bharu, Kuala Terengganu, Melaka, and Shah Alam.

20c – depicts the Ipoh branch building of Bank Negara Malaysia and is in full color.

$1.00 – depicts the Alor Setar branch building of Bank Negara Malaysia and is in full color.

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