Central banks in Malaysia and Indonesia were widely expected to keep interest rates steady on Thursday, constrained by fears of currency outflows.
Oliver Salmon, senior economist at Oxford Economics, told CNBC's "The Rundown" on Thursday that both countries were in similar boats, facing pressure on their currencies and vulnerability to outflows, especially with high foreign ownership of their government bonds.
"They've already taken steps to try to shore up the ringgit. For example, they've compelled exporters to convert about 75 percent of proceeds into the ringgit. This should help boost reserves," Salmon said. "We've seen a significant decline in reserves in the last 18 months, but they'll be a lot more cautious in setting policy over the next year as a result of this fear of capital outflows."
He doesn't expect Malaysia's central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), to move on rates until around the end of 2017, when he expects a hike.
"We've got base effects coming out of inflation, higher oil prices and also with the Fed likely to move a couple of times this year, clearly they won't want to see interest rate differentials narrow too much to stoke fears of capital outflows," he said.
Malaysia's benchmark rate has been set at 3.0 percent since July, when it was cut by 25 basis points.
In December, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate by 0.25 percentage point to 0.50-0.75 percent. But over the next year, the Fed has signaled it expected to hike three more times, and some analysts were forecasting four hikes.