Bursa Malaysia : Domestic market stays resilient amid external headwinds

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 12): The domestic capital market remains resilient with its diversified sources of growth despite external headwinds, says Bursa Malaysia.

Chief executive officer Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift said several banks including UBS Group and HSBC have recently upgraded Malaysian stocks for being steady amid the accelerating US-China trade war, reflecting their confidence in Malaysia’s positive growth prospects.

"We have a well-diversified investor base, including the presence of strong, stable long-term institutional investors, who have continuously provided support to fund raising activity," he said in his speech at the HPMT Holdings Bhd debut on Bursa Malaysia's Main Market here today.

Muhamad Umar also said Malaysia’s capital market is globally recognised as well-regulated and ranks highly in investor protection.

He noted that according to the World Bank Doing Business Report 2019, Malaysia occupies the second spot, out of 190 economies, in the area of protecting minority investors.

The World Bank recently ranked Malaysia as the 15th easiest place to conduct business – out of 190 economies -- an improvement of nine places from the 24th place in the previous year, he added.

"This demonstrates our competitiveness and economic strength. Collectively, these factors provide diverse opportunities for value creation for our stakeholders," said Muhamad Umar.

Earlier at the HPMT listing, he said the listing exercise bodes well for the cutting tools industry in Malaysia, which is seen as a crucial enabler for the manufacturing landscape and a vital player in the country’s economic development as the Industrial Revolution unfolds, increasing the emphasis on automation and machine tools.

"The outlook for the cutting tools industry is positive, with a forecast compound annual growth rate of 3.8 per cent domestically and 3.9 per cent globally for the period 2019 to 2023.

"Amid such developments, HPMT's timely listing will bring about a stronger corporate profile and greater visibility for network-building as it pursues new opportunities for expansion locally and abroad," he added.

The company is mainly involved in the manufacturing and distribution of cutting tools, trading of third-party cutting tools, supporting equipment and accessories for metalworking as well as provision of physical vapor deposition (PVD) coating services.

At the opening, HPMT was traded at a premium of 58 sen, two sen higher over its issue price of 56 sen per share.

At 12.30 pm, its shares were five sen lower at 51 sen, with 61.76 million shares changing hands.