Foreign funds bought RM447.1m M’sian equity last week, says MIDF Research

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 26): Foreign investors acquired RM447.1 million of Malaysian equity last week, up from RM141.2 million the prior week, according to MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd Research.

In his weekly fund flow report today, MIDF Research’s Adam M Rahim said foreign buying occurred on 4 out of 5 trading days last week and peaked on Wednesday at RM159.2 million net ahead of the expected rate hike during Fed’s first meeting since Jerome Powell’s appointment.

He said the buying momentum slightly eased to RM112.2 million net on Thursday after the Fed maintained its outlook for a total of three rate hikes in 2018, less hawkish than expected.

“Nonetheless, the local bourse remained steady as it closed at 1,877 points on Thursday, the highest so far this year.

“However, the local bourse was jolted on Friday due to the U.S-China trade spat, pulling the FBM KLCI down by 0.62% to 1,865 points,” he said.

Adam said foreign investors were net sellers to a tune of RM30.9 million.

He said it is noteworthy that the pace of foreign selling in Malaysia and its Southeast Asian peers namely Indonesia and the Philippines was very slow ranging from RM7.9 million to RM77.0 million net compared to North Asian markets which saw attrition levels reaching as high as RM349.7 million net.

He said that overall for the week, only Malaysia and Thailand attracted net inflows in the Southeast Asian markets that we track.

“On a year-to-date basis, foreigners have accumulated RM2.50 billion worth of local equities compared to the RM4.49 billion mopped up during the same period last year,” he said.

Adam said foreign participation slightly eased last week as the average daily trade value (ADTV) retreated 33% to RM1.09 billion but marked its 12th week of staying above RM1 billion.

He said the retail market also took a breather as the retail ADTV declined to settle below RM1 billion for the first time in 4 weeks.