A better second half expected for Bursa Malaysia, says its chief

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 1): Bursa Malaysia Bhd, which posted a 23.6% decline in first-half net profit to RM93.19 million, expects a better second half, mainly driven by foreign fund inflows as the country’s fundamentals remain strong, says its chief executive officer Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift.

“I think Malaysia has a wonderful growth story. We have foreign funds flowing in again (and) new projects are coming in. It is time for investors to consider coming back (into the stock market),” he told a press conference to announce the stock exchange operator's financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 (2HFY19) today.

Muhamad Umar also sees an increase in initial public offering (IPO) activity this year.

In the IPO pipeline for 2HFY19 are 13 companies, which will bring a combined market capitalisation of about RM15 billion, of which three are en route to list on the Main Market, seven on the ACE Market and the remaining three on Leading Entrepreneur Accelerator Platform (LEAP) Market.

This will bring the total IPOs for the year to 27 compared with 22 IPOs last year when the IPO market suffered its worst year since Bursa’s inception in 1973.