Foreign buying on Bursa gathers steam

PETALING JAYA: International funds cquired RM417.3 million net of local equities last week, the highest inflow recorded since September 2018 and about 16 times the net inflow in the previous week.

MIDF Research said foreign investors turned buyers starting in the last two weeks, after nine consecutive weeks as sellers.

“Foreign investors continued hitting the buy button, for equities listed on Bursa. They turned buyers after a short-selling mode on Monday, ending the week with net positive,“ the research house said in its fund flow report today.

Foreign investors first bought RM51.7 million net on Tuesday followed by a net total of RM378 million for the rest of the week. The net buying quantum peaked on Friday, on renewed trade optimism.

It was reported that the US is considering measures to roll back tariffs on Chinese products, which helped to offset the fears of a global economic slowdown after disappointing Chinese trade data. Notably, Chinese exports and imports recorded a drop in December, stemmed from the trade war impact.

So far in 2019, MIDF Research said foreign funds bought RM424.5 million net or US$103.4 million net of local equities.

“In comparison to the other three Asean peers we monitor, namely the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand, Malaysia has the lowest foreign net inflow on a year-to-date basis,“ MIDF said.

Despite the inflows into Bursa, participation rate among the various group of investors recorded a decline across the board. Foreign average daily traded volume (ADTV) dipped 20.7% to settle below the RM1 billion level.

Meanwhile, retail market and local institutions ADTV followed suit, down by 14.9% and 17% respectively.

MIDF Research said positively, retail market’s ADTV still remain above its healthy level of RM800 million.

Stock-wise, Public Bank Bhd registered the highest net money inflow of RM18.04 million last week. Its share price appreciated by 0.16% for the week, underperforming the FBM KLCI which inched 0.53% on a weekly basis.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, however, recorded the highest net money outflow of RM13.32 million last week. Its share price advanced by 1.38% for the week to close at RM8.10.

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