Maybank cuts Malaysia stock index target on ‘multiple headwinds’

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SINGAPORE (Dec 17): Maybank reduces FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index target to 1,760 from 1,830 for end-2019 citing slowing global growth, trade war between US and China, plunging oil prices and domestic politics, analysts including Suhaimi Ilias write in note dated Friday.

* New target implies 5.9% upside vs Friday close; KLCI down 0.2% as of 10:28am Monday in Singapore

* Investors will also look out for rating reviews by S&P and Fitch in early 2019

* US Fed signal to stop rate hikes could trigger relief but that will be short-lived

* Top investment themes for next year are trough valuations, interest rate cuts, ringgit volatility, trade war beneficiaries, govt divestments, M&A and privatization, active enforcement against illegal tobacco and breweries, construction

* Top buys include CIMB, Genting, Astro Malaysia, UMW Holdings, Alliance Bank, Cahya Mata, YTL Hospitality, Mega First

* NOTE: Upbeat Forecasts for Asean Stocks Signal Foreigners May Return