Net outflow continues to be norm in market, say analysts

KUALA LUMPUR: As the year draws to a close, there is an upbeat sentiment on Malaysia’s prospects for 2019, but there is hardly any noticeable change in the flow of foreign funds into the local equity.

Saying that foreign net inflow was more pronounced in the first week of December, analysts also said the situation was completely offset by net outflow.

Inter-Pacific Research Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew said with about 20 days left before the New Year, net outflow continued to be the norm in the market.

“So far, the cumulative value of foreign selling in the first four days of this week amounted to RM143.1 million,” he told Bernama, adding that foreign selling in the previous week stood at RM160 million.

“Year-to-date, foreign net selling stood at RM10.57 billion,” said Pong

“Malaysia’s current account surplus showed that the country is not borrowing heavily from the global market. Our export position is good and the country is doing reasonably well, but unfortunately, we can’t say the same for the performance of listed companies on Bursa Malaysia.

“Corporate earnings in the third quarter did not look so good and many companies failed to meet investors’ expectations. In order for net selling to reduce, corporate earnings need to be more impressive,” he said.

Saying that poor performance was seen across the board, Pong added that this included technology stocks which were unable to perform despite the weaker ringgit.

The ringgit ended the week marginally lower at 4.1640/1680 against the US dollar from last Friday’s 4.1640/1680.

Pong noted that the ringgit’s trend was closely linked to China’s renminbi as the latter remained Malaysia’s largest trading partner.

Oanda Head of Trading for Asia-Pacific Stephen Innes said it had been an incredibly surprising week for the local note which is poised to trade between 4.15 and 4.17 against the greenback next week.

“However, the ringgit has been held hostage to poor risk sentiment and lower oil prices but I remain guardedly optimistic as there are nascent signs that a dovish US Federal Reserve will see the dollar retreating,” he said.

On corporate developments, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) chief executive officer (CEO) Yasmin Mahmood, in a surprise move, tendered her resignation after serving the organisation for over four years.

Yasmin on Thursday said: “It is with a heavy heart that I am tendering my resignation as CEO of MDEC to pursue a role with a tech venture in Jakarta.”

She is relinquishing her position as CEO and all other positions within MDEC, effective Jan 15, 2019.

Meanwhile, former CIMB Islamic adviser Noripah Kamso has been appointed the new chairman of Bank Rakyat and the secretary-general of the Entrepreneur Development Ministry Wan Suraya Wan Mohd Radzi has been appointed to the board of Bank Rakyat, with immediate effect.

Noripah replaces Shukry Mohd Salleh who was removed on Nov 26 due to his involvement in the original audit report of 1MDB.